Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for.
Recently, our family went to see The Greatest Showman. It was, hands down, the best movie we have seen together in a long time. Possibly ever. And I say that, knowing well the implications of that statement. I sat in the theater with a giddy grin the entire time. I became teary at moments and wanted to shout in triumph at others; I clapped at the end. Ever since we saw the movie a few weeks ago, we have listened to the soundtrack countless times, we have danced ourselves silly to the driving rhythms, and we have celebrated the story all over again.
I recognized certain biblical themes right away. Accepting all of God’s children. What happens when we put our faith in material items. Idolatry. Greed. Faithfulness. One thing, however, has been on my mind. I continue to consider and question why this movie has resonated with so many. Yes, the songs and choreography are amazing, but the entire storyline was striking as well. The lyric that has been on my mind is “impossible comes true, it’s taking over you”. Why are we so drawn to the impossible? Why is the concept of doing something undoable so enticing? Because God placed it in our hearts. God wrote and carried out the impossible story for us and for His glory.
Babies aren’t born to virgins, but Jesus was. Kings aren’t born in stables, but Jesus was. Five loaves and two fish don’t feed thousands, but Jesus made it happen. Blind men don’t just gain sight, but Jesus made it happen. Men don’t walk on water, but Jesus did. Men don’t die and come back from the dead after three days. But Jesus did.
God knew when He created us that we would be drawn to the impossible. He created us to crave Him and the things He has to offer.
Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””
This verse is in reference to our ability to be saved by God. We can’t understand the depth of this gift. We won’t understand on this side of eternity. Yet, it’s ours for the taking. As the Bible says, “He has also set eternity in their heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV).
When we have impossible needs, His word tells us, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV). We can’t do the things God does. He loves to see us revel in the miraculous. When a doctor says, “The only explanation is divine intervention”, God is taking His bow. When we unexpectedly receive the money we needed to pay a bill, He gives us the slightest nod and adjusts His top hat a little. Because He designed our hearts, He can thrill us every time. And we must respond in applause and adoration.
One thing that sets God apart from any other deity is that He shares the impossible with us. He could easily enjoy all the miracles Himself, yet He shares them with us. He allows us to be a part of His Greatest Show.
Just like P.T. Barnum gathered all the people who would have otherwise been excluded, Jesus befriended the odd and unwelcomed. He sat with the woman at the well and lovingly told her the life she was living was not her best (John 4). He invited Zacchaeus, the dishonest, vertically-challenged tax collector, over for dinner (Luke 19:1-10). He cast out demons from Mary Magdalene, and then allowed her to be one of the first to see Him after resurrection (Luke 8:2, Mark 16). We are drawn to these accounts, most likely because we see ourselves in them. We want what we know to be impossible to be possible in our lives, and God has given us that gift.
If you’re a Christian, I hope this is resonating with you. I hope that if you’ve seen the Greatest Showman and you have excitedly told everyone you know to go see the movie right now (like I have), that you recognize the importance of telling everyone you know about your impossible story as well. If you are not a Christian, and you want in on the excitement, I hope your heart is feeling a little tugged on as you read this. I hope you understand that this gift is yours. God has done the impossible, and we just have to accept it (John 3:16).
2 Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature” (NKJV). He wants you to be a part of this.
Is TheGreatest Showman an exact account of the Bible? No. And it wasn’t intended to be. P.T. Barnum was criticized for fooling people and for enhancing reality, but every word in the Bible is true (See Proverbs 30:5). There isn’t any smoke and mirrors or sleight of hand. God isn’t tricking us or deceiving us to “up His numbers”, so to speak. God has nothing to gain and nothing to lose, but we have everything to gain with Him and everything to lose without Him.
As the opening song, The Greatest Show, says:
It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you wanna be
So tell me, do you wanna go?