Beauty and the Beast reminds me of the longings we have. We want more and sometimes have no idea how to get it. We pray and stand on God’s Word but life doesn’t change immediately. Sometimes that process is so difficult we want to give up. We just don’t understand what is happening. We do make the effort to stay before the Lord. But the fight of faith is exhausting. Why not just be happy with what we have? What we need to understand is that often these uncomfortable situations are guiding us to the place we want to be.
Beauty and the Beast addresses this very subject. The title character is Belle. She is beautiful and different. In her culture, girls her age should only desire marriage and family. Belle is a woman ahead of her time and has no desire for marriage. She loves learning and books and dreams of a life beyond her village.
Gaston, a handsome and vain soldier is attracted to Belle. She is beautiful and he is determined to make her his wife. Belle wants nothing to do with him.
Beauty and the Beast taught me not to settle for second best…ever!
Belle has made the right choice. She comes face to face with the real Gaston. He is cruel and determined to have his way. He tries to put Belle’s father in a mental institution when he refuses to give Gaston Belle’s hand in marriage.
Belle could have married Gaston but that choice would have been second best. That union would not have produced the life she truly desired. Are you finding the journey towards your true desires too hard? Are you thinking about settling? Beauty and the Beast is a silly, little story that reveals a powerful spiritual principle. The road to the life God has for you always seems harder, takes longer. There are more struggles along the way. Could it be that God is using that road and those difficulties to prepare you for the life He has chosen for you? Could it be that the joy, contentment and satisfaction waiting for you is far beyond anything you imagined?
No, Belle does not accept second best. She chooses a higher and much tougher road by setting her love on her father. Belle exchanges places with him to become the prisoner of a beast (a man changed into a beast by an enchantress because of his selfishness). She spends time in a cold castle with a horrible creature (at least that’s what he appears to be on the surface). Eventually, Belle learns to see past the beast’s meanness and physical ugliness. She learns to love him which breaks the spell he is under. Imagine her surprise to discover he is actually a handsome and very wealthy prince.
Happy endings are possible in this life because we all have a Prince. His name is Jesus.
When the spell breaks, the palace becomes alive with joy and laughter. Belle has not only helped to release the beast, she is now free to become the woman she has always wanted to be. She is no longer limited to the ideas of the small town where she has grown up. She has a huge library of books at her disposal and can learn all she wants! The love she has gained from her prince is extra special. It wasn’t something she was seeking but found it nonetheless.
Let’s not overlook how the beast is transformed. Selfish and cruel, a prince falls under a spell that condemns him to live like an animal. If he does not want to stay that way forever, he must learn to love and be loved. That happens when he meets Belle. When he becomes a man again, a changed man he is!
Beauty and the Beast taught me that no matter what I am going through, if I trust God’s Word through the process, I can come out with a happy ending. I can receive the desire of my heart along with unexpected surprises. The latter makes me think of Ephesians 3:20 which tells us that God will do exceedingly above what we ask or think.
The road to God’s highest and best is hard. Still, God does not want us to faint. He wants us to press into HIM. He calls us to give Him all our why’s, why not’s, how long’s, and when’s. For He alone holds the key to our personal satisfaction and contentment.
Beauty and the Beast is showing in theaters all over the country. Go see it.