Thursday, December 8, 2022

Come and Claim Him

There are many reasons to love the Lord of the Rings (books or movies-I'm not picky).  I turn the movies on at least once a year, because they take me on an entire journey, mentally and emotionally.  I have always loved one part in particular, though I have never understood why until this week.

There is this scene in the book where the elf Glorfindel has to help Frodo and his friends across the Ford of Bruinen to get to Rivendell.  In the movies, they placed this task on Arwen, and we find her at the banks of the ford, a dying Frodo laid across her horse, as the Nine Riders pursue them relentlessly.  When all seems lost, with courage in her posture and ready to give her life for this mission, Arwen looks at them and says fiercely, "If you want him, come and claim him."

As the riders rush into the water to try to get to Frodo, Arwen calls on the power of the elves and the waters rise, rushing upon the Nine Riders, giving Arwen time to escape and deliver Frodo for healing to the land of Rivendell.

"If you want him, come and claim him."


Those are fighting words.

I connect with them because, as it turns out, I am a fighter.

I resisted claiming this title for myself for a long time, feeling like it meant I thought more highly of myself than I should.  But the truth of the matter is that I am fighter.  There is a resiliency in me that until this year, I didn't really understand that I possessed.  It isn't anything that I have, dependent on myself.  It is something that comes because I TRUST Jesus.  I believe what the Bible says about him.  I have faith that I will be rescued, even if it doesn't look the way I might want it to.

And I find this challenge of "come and claim him" to be incredibly encouraging.

I am under constant attack from the arrows of the enemy.  An enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy.  That enemy is running rampant in our world and entangled up in our lives.  We have a Savior, a commander who leads us and guides us through the enemy's territory.  

This world?

It's not as God intends it to be.  The garden of Eden is what He intended. But he didn't want us to be robots, forced to follow him simply because we have to.  He made us, special and set apart from all other creation, with a mind that is capable of knowing Him.  Our brains, able to think and choose and decide for ourselves set us apart from animals and other living things.  God wanted someone who would choose him because of who He is.

So, he gives us a mind unlike any other, and with it comes the power to hurt or heal (ourselves or others).  And throughout our lives, it delights God when we seek after him.  When we bring our joy and sorrow alike to him.  When we acknowledge that we are nothing, specks of dust in the grand scheme of things.  And yet, he loves us immensely, more than we can even put into words or fathom.  It makes NO sense.  I know it doesn't make sense.  That doesn't mean it isn't true.  

So, when I watch the Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring) and I see and hear Arwen say, "If you want him, come and claim him." that feels like the gauntlet is being thrown down and I can't help but get excited and want to join her in that fight.

It is not lost on me that Jesus is Arwen for us here.  His blood covers us and when the enemy comes calling, and he will, Jesus steps in, his grace and mercy speaking for us, and he says to the devil, "If you want him, come and claim him."

And THEN, when the enemy pursues, God shows up.  His waters rush in and are too powerful for the enemy.  We are covered by his blood, by his grace, and nothing the enemy can do to us can extinguish that.  We are covered.  It gives me chills to think about this scene and how Jesus has stood at the fords of my deepest pain and shame and told the devil that if he wants me, he has to come and claim me from the grasp of God himself!  Which God has proven over and over again the devil is simply incapable of doing.  This keeps hope alive, even in the darker times.

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