Howard Hawks’ 1948 motion picture, Red River, is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest westerns of motion picture history.
It tells the story of a tyrannical cattle baron who makes the first cattle drive from Southwest Texas north to Abilene, Kansas along the Chisholm Trail. It is based on an actual event.
But the making of the movie proved to be every bit as impressive as the actual historic drive. For instance, the production team traveled more than 15,000 miles trying to find the best location for filming, covering the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. Whereas the Chisholm Trail itself is less than 1,500 miles long. Then, when the movie depicts a large group of trail hands driving the massive heard of 9,000 cows across the river, they actually used—9,000 cows, driven by 70 top riders. Members of the movie cast and crew suffered from heat, thirst, dust, sickness, and saddle sores. They were also bit by snakes, centipedes, and scorpions. As it turned out, the actors and crew were creating an epic of their own. Their own story was as valid and genuine as the one they tried to recreate.
There are times when we venerate the people and events of the past too much, and grasp the significance of our own present work too little. We talk about God’s mighty acts in the days of Moses, Joshua, and Elijah. But God is doing mighty things in our day, in our lives. In the Psalms we are told to “sing a new song” to the Lord (Ps. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1). In other words, don’t just retell the ancient story of things long ago. Acknowledge God’s acts of providence and grace in your own life. Sing of a personal, fresh experience of God’s deliverance and help.
Did God answer the prayers of the saints millennia ago? God answers the prayers of His children today as well. What God is doing, and wants to do, in your life is every bit as significant and real as what He did long ago. Tell your own story.
Dear Father in heaven, Please don’t let me overlook Your blessings in my life or Your hand moving on my behalf. Every day Your mercies are new. Please let me see Your divine intervention and sing Your praise. Amen.
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.