By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus
It’s safe to say that the vast majority of Americans have seen the movie, The Wizard of Oz—and likely many times over. But have you ever looked at it and found a Christian message in the story? Let’s look at the story and glean from it a life lesson for all Christians.
The Wizard of Oz is the story of Dorothy, a young farm girl from Kansas. On a stormy day she was swept away, farmhouse and all, in a tornado from her beloved home, family and friends, and she was set-down in the far-away land of the munchkins. All alone and desperate to find her way home, Dorothy is told that she must follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, for in that city she will find the great and powerful Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home.
Since Dorothy’s house had landed on the wicked witch, thereby liberating the munchkin people, she was given the witch’s ruby slippers….and, amazingly, they fit perfectly. Any woman knows, it would have been a long journey if her shoes were too tight! So Dorothy set out to find the Wizard and to find her way home to her family and friends.
As Dorothy made her way along the yellow brick road, she met three friends. Each gave her advice with good intent, but sadly the advice was of no help in delivering her from her current predicament. Doesn’t that remind you of Job’s three friends? But that’s not the biblical connection. The lesson for Christians is at the end of the movie.
Consider now the scene that takes place after Dorothy has traveled the yellow brick road, arrived at the Emerald City and met the great and powerful Oz. Disappointment sets in as she learns that the wizard is just a mortal man, with no special powers, and completely incapable of helping her get home. All that everyone has promised that he can do, he can not do. Then Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” Glinda tells Dorothy that the ruby slippers she has been wearing since her arrival in the Land of Oz will take her home. Glinda also tells that she didn’t reveal this to Dorothy earlier because she would not have believed it. “She had to learn it for herself,” Glinda tells Dorothy’s friends. And the lesson that Dorothy has learned is that her heart’s desire isn’t “any further than her own backyard.”
A Biblical Lesson from the Land of Oz
Isn’t that a good lesson, in type, of the Christian life? Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying the Wizard of Oz is a story with an underlying gospel message. It certainly is not. The story wasn’t written with the gospel in mind, and there is no parallel to the redemption that comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ. However, there is a good principle and an encouraging message that provides us with a lesson about our Christian walk, the life we live after our salvation, and the walk that leads us to an even greater “Emerald City.”
For all of us who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, when we trusted in His finished work on the cross, He forgave us, He saved us and He gave us His righteousness. He also gave us eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit, along with His love, joy, peace, unity with Him, and so much more!
We then began our journey, walking on our own path that will one day lead us home. While the path ultimately takes us to our final, heavenly home, it can be a long journey just like the “yellow brick road” with many difficult encounters along the way. So we must remember what Dorothy only learned at the end of her journey– we already have all that we need. We have the only Friend, who promises to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and we have the power of the Holy Spirit who promises to always guide us (John 16:13).
Just as Glinda told Dorothy that she always had “the power to return home,” we always have “the power to return,” the power to seek, the One who loves us. Daily we make choices whether to find satisfaction in people, places or things or to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and to make Him our heart’s desire. Just as Dorothy had to make the journey and “learn it for herself,” along the path of life we have experiences that will grow and shape us and remind us of the power that we already have.
Wow! How amazing is our God to give us such riches of glory now and forever, and to reveal them at the beginning of our journey. The gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit is a power far superior to any type of “ruby slippers” found in this world. The Holy Spirit empowers us to grow in our relationship with Jesus and to live in a manner that honors and glorifies God.
Our biggest problem is that we don’t always believe, or many we just forget, that we have the Lord’s power in us. All too often we are like Dorothy, searching for something we already possess.
It’s similar to the times in which we search for our keys, only to realize they are in our pocket or purse; or we search for our sunglasses and find them resting atop our head. They were not lost. We had them all along. We just forgot where they were.
So remember, we already have everything we need. Our power is not in a pair “ruby slippers” that sparkle in the light. Our power is from the Holy Spirit, the light of Jesus, who dwells in us, teaching us, guiding us, strengthening us and testifying to the truth and love of Jesus.
The next time you’re searching, the next time you’re weak;
the next time you’re doubting, or unable to speak…
you don’t need “ruby slippers.”
You have the light and the life of the Holy Spirit,
and the promises and the peace of our Lord and Saviour!
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent [return]. (Revelation 3:3)
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)