If you have children in your life, there is a good chance you have seen the movie, Frozen. In fact, if your household is anything like mine, you may have seen it many times. What is it about the movie that has had such an impact?
For those not familiar with the story, Elsa is born with the ability to manipulate ice and snow. Early in the tale, Elsa accidently injures her little sister Anna with her icy talent. Fearing the power within her, Elsa learns to keep it hidden by isolating herself from people and keeping a tight control on her emotions. Years later, having publicly lost control in a fit of anger, a now full-grown Elsa escapes to a nearby mountain. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when Elsa, alone on the snowy mountaintop and no longer having to bottle up her emotions, defiantly sings the song, “Let It Go!” Here are some of the lyrics:
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried! …
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore…
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all! …
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free! …
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry! …
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway! *
Because of the impact of the song, it would be easy to walk away from the movie with the message that you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions. Just let yourself go no matter the consequences. But that is not really the lesson that Elsa learns. You see, as the story continues, Elsa accidentally injures her sister once again. This time fatally. But by Anna’s act of true love toward Elsa, Anna is miraculously saved and Elsa finally discovers that love is the force that can control the power within her.
As I recently watched Frozen (again), the words of the Apostle John came to mind: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) This is the truth behind the lesson Elsa learned. Elsa was not set free from her fears by her defiant, emotional outburst on the mountaintop, although she certainly experienced a refreshing temporary relief. She was set free by the love that was poured out for her. This is a lesson that it would be good for us all to learn.
Do you struggle with fear? Does fear control you? Perfect love casts out fear.
Do you struggle with anger? Fear may be at the root of anger.
The answer to your struggle lies not in hiding your fear or your anger. Neither is the answer to run away, nor to let your emotions have free reign. The answer is not to try to control your fears, but to receive the perfect love of God that casts out fear. Jesus poured out His love for you in the ultimate act of true love by dying for you on the cross. Let go of your fear and anger. Give them up to God. Receive His perfect love and let it cast out your fear.
*Lyrics from “Let It Go!” by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, from the animated movie “Frozen” by Walt Disney Studios