In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the Wizard of Oz first appeared to the young girl named Dorothy as a great floating Head. He appeared to the Scarecrow as a lovely Lady, to the Tin Woodman as a terrible Beast, and to the Lion as a Ball of Fire. But, when the Wizard tried to delay the promises he made to these four, the Lion tried to frighten the Wizard by letting out a large roar. As he did, Dorothy’s dog, Toto, jumped back and knocked over a screen that stood in the corner, revealing a little old man with a bald head and wrinkled face. When asked by the Tin Woodman who he was, the little old man trembled as he replied, “I am Oz, the Great and Terrible.” But, as it turned out, this great and terrible wizard was not a wizard at all. He was simply a common man. He had landed the Emerald City many years before in a hot-air balloon, and the people of that city thought he was a great wizard, so this common man hid behind the facade of a great and terrible wizard.
Much like the Wizard of Oz, believers sometimes hide behind a facade. On the outside, we may appear to everyone as full of confidence and full of joy, while on the inside we may be filled with doubts, fears, and pain. We don’t want others to see that we are dealing with these things, and we are afraid to let others in. Often, this is because we believe that, as followers of Christ, saved by grace, we should not have feelings such as doubt, fear, and pain. But Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, we will have trials and sorrows (John 16:33). The trouble Jesus spoke of includes such things as doubts, fears, and pain. So, it is inevitable that, at times in our lives, we will experience feelings such as these. But we must not hide behind a facade, not allowing others to see that we are not as together as we appear at the moment. So, what should we do?
First and foremost, we must cast our troubles on the Lord. Psalm 55:22 says that when we do this, He will sustain us. Jesus said that when we are weary and weighed down with troubles, we should come to Him (Matthew 11:28). He is there to help us shoulder our burdens, to help us through our times of trial, to help us deal with our feelings of doubt, fear, and pain. God has also placed others in our lives, people who can come alongside us and help us in dealing with what we are going through. But this can’t happen when we hide behind a facade, pretending that all is well when, in fact, it is not. All of us go through difficulties at times. God comforts us in those times so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4). He helps us so that we can help others. So, when we are the ones going through a difficult time, we need to let others in to come alongside us. That person we let in may be the very person whom God has helped in the past so that he or she can help us now.
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