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Lessons on Fear From After Earth

Posted by Amanda Sims

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***Spoiler Alert***

After Earth is a story set in the future, on Nova Prime, a distant planet colonized by people who left Earth when it became uninhabitable due to environmental changes.

Cypher Raige is a leader in the military organization called the Ranger Corps. He is well known for his bravery in battle. Cypher’s son, Kitai is in training to join the Ranger Corps, but is not living up to his father’s expectations. Their relationship is distant and strained, and Cypher’s wife Faia encourages him to take their son on an expedition to another planet in an effort to bond with one another.

On the journey they encounter an asteroid storm that forces them to make a crash landing on the now-quarantined Earth. Kitai and his father are the only survivors, and their only hope of rescue is in retrieving a beacon that is in the tail section of the craft, which is 100 kilometers away from them.

Because Cypher’s legs were broken in the crash, it is Kitai who must make the journey alone across treacherous terrain through a deadly environment and past dangerous creatures. But while Kitai must go alone, he is not without help.

They can stay in contact using a two-way communicator. Cypher promises to guide Kitai every step of the way, and insists that if Kitai trusts him, if he listens and obeys, he will survive and succeed.

Cypher uses technology that allows him to keep track of his son and see his surroundings.  He is aware of threats before Kitai encounters them, and can warn him when he is about to be attacked by the planets various dangerous creatures.

Kitai doesn’t always listen to his father. His headstrong attitude leads him to make poor choices, putting him in harm’s way on more than one occasion. There are other factors that add stress to their relationship, and Kitai’s confidence is rattled by a perception that his father doesn’t believe in him.

So do they make it? Are they rescued? Well, I’ll let you find out for yourself.

But as I watched, a few interesting spiritual truths jumped out at me.

First, I thought about how God asks us to trust Him. He can see all around us and knows what may trip us up or hurt us. He wants to guide us and keep us from things that will harm us.

Psalm 25:20 says it well, “Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble. Don’t let me down when I run to you.”

The other thing that struck me was a quote about fear. In preparing Kitai for his trek, Cypher tells him, “… if we are going to survive this, you must realize that fear is not real.  It is a product of thoughts you create.  Now do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice."

Wow. Read that again. “Fear is a product of thoughts you create….fear is a choice.” How many times does fear seem like a reality, or even a necessity? And this isn’t the “healthy respect” kind of fear, like we should have for danger. (Because remember, danger IS real.) This is something that exists in our mind, made up of countless possible negative scenarios we dream up.

But it’s not enough to just say, “Don’t fear”. There’s a reason why we don’t have to be afraid.

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:6 NLT

We don’t have to fear because we’re not on our own. God is with us. He loves us, and we can trust Him. He is in control, and He is good. He knows what He’s doing, even when we have no idea what is going on.

So my questions for you are these: In what area do you need to fear less and trust God more? What is your next step to turn away from the fear? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

And for more biblical truths found in blockbuster movies, check out At The Movies at live.life.church – we have 71 experiences each week, so one is sure to fit your schedule. Don’t be afraid – try it out!

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