I hope you will take time to enjoy the Andy Griffith video called "Opie and the Bully" on You Tube. If you will watch it first then read this post, you might get more out of it. Pay special attention when it gets into 18 min 49 sec of the show through 20 min 12 sec, that' the part I focus on below. 😉
Andy finds out that Opie is getting extra money for school but doesn't know why. He questions Opie, doesn't get a real answer, then of course funny Barney sees a chance to put his detective skills to use in order to get to the bottom of it. He follows Opie to school one morning only to discover that Opie is being threatened into giving up his nickel every day by a bully named Sheldon. Despite Barney's insistence that Andy intervene, Andy decides it is better to let Opie handle the situation himself. Andy explains that Opie has to learn to stand up for himself, even if the consequences might be a little painful. Later, when Opie and Andy are fishing. Andy tells Opie the story of his encounter with a bully named Hoadie Snitch. Andy explains how he stood up for himself, even though the results were painful. This gives Opie the courage to stand up to his own bully.
I really enjoy watching light hearted shows like these, the good clean ones that teach valuable lessons and can add a little humor along the way. As I watched this particular one, there was a particular segment that actually moved me to tears! 😪 Maybe it's because I grew up without a Father's love and had a void in my heart for many years (looking in all the wrong places to fill it 😞). This show gave me a glimpse into the tenderness of our caring heavenly Father. Watch the show and see if it doesn't tug on your own heart.
When you get into 19 min of the show you will see that Opie brings Andy an extra change of clothes just in case "somethin' were to happen that got his clothes tore and messy" (all this time Opie has never told Andy about the bully and Andy has never let on that he knew). Opie thanks his Pa for holding onto his extra set of clothes and starts to leave knowing that this is the day he has GOT to be brave and face that bully, by golly!! You can see on Andy's face that he wants to either say something to Opie or maybe stop the whole thing before his son leaves to face the bully. Andy decides against it. Opie pauses in the doorway, no doubt he needs a little more encouragement before he faces the battle ahead of him, and says to his Pa "You sure you didn't even feel it?" as he thinks back to when Andy chose to stand up against his bully back in the day and got a punch in the face.
(This is the part that brought on my tender tears...) Andy gets up slowly out of his chair, walks over to Opie, reaches down and lovingly picks him up with his strong arms. Andy doesn't say a word but gives Opie a strong embrace as if to say, "you can do this son, it's gonna be okay and you have my name and all my love backing you all the way to victory." Don't you just know that this encouragement gave Opie the courage to march right up to that bully and face him instead of backing down? I think it did. Many times when I have been encouraged by those that love me, it gives me strength and courage to go forward instead of shrink back.
Even though there aren't words at this point, can you see by the look in his eyes a son that trusts his Father words? Can you see a Father that looks at his son with great love and confidence that his son was born to be a winner?!! Doesn't it just get you right there (place hand on heart at this point). I never would have thought that a little old show like Andy Griffith could have caused such great emotion in my heart. But it did, and I felt the love of my heavenly Daddy wash over me.
Even though I did grow up without the love of a dad, maybe you have too, I have seen that He gives me glimpses of His great love through whatever lens I can receive that revelation. I know that as you ask Him, He will gladly show you the amazing love He has for you too. Just ask and then look and listen. Everyday. He WANTS to show you that you are not alone in this world and in the battles you face.
Takeaways to take away from this...
1. Even though there is a bully out there (his name is Satan), Christ has already whooped his you know what and every power of darkness is defeated and under our feet if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That means we fight from a place of victory, not for victory.
2. When we encourage one another, we give in essence give courage to do what they are called to do. Sometimes we may feel like we are appointed as judges but It's really not our place to criticize and tear down one another, we are to love, build up and encourage. (see Hebrews 3:13 & Matthew 7:1-3)
3. Our Heavenly Father, sent His only Beloved Son, Jesus, to not only take our sins upon Himself but to defeat the enemy (also known as the bully of all bullies). We have ALL power over the demonic forces and we have been given the name of Jesus which is above every name to change the course of history! (see Luke 10:19)
4. Did you notice how Opie gained wisdom and courage when he was having one on one time with his Pa while fishing? Our heavenly Daddy wants us to have that one on one time with Him too. Enjoy spending time with God, meditate on His Word while listening and learning His ways. We are wired for triumph and success, it's in our DNA but the direction and strength we need must come from Christ alone, not of ourselves, lest we get prideful and become boastful. (see Joshua 1:8)
5. Since God has already defeated the enemy and given us all the power and authority to change the world around us, it's time to quit being passive and it's time to quit being afraid. Our focus shouldn't be on fighting flesh and blood. We should be exerting that time and energy on spending time in God's Word and in His presence. Love people while attacking the darkness with the sword of the Spirit (Word of God) and by praying. Major battles are won this way. (see Ephesians 6:12)
6. You and I are greatly loved by our Heavenly Father. He has given us wisdom and encouragement and told us to not fear, but instead be strong, be courageous and go out and do even greater works than Christ did! WOW!! It's a big task, though not impossible as we have the love of the Father, His authority and all of heaven backing us. (see Jeremiah 31:3 & John 14:12)
Was there something else that spoke to you when you watched this video? Do you find God reveals things to you even in the mundane moments like watching a show?
Let me encourage you...don't be bullied, fearful or discouraged. You have all of heaven at your disposal. YOU my friend, have a Heavenly Father that is CRAZY IN LOVE WITH YOU!!! Believe it! There's nothing you have to do to earn His love, it's free and it's too big to even comprehend how great it is, just accept it, by faith. His Word trumps our feelings. Always.
Healthy hugs to you! ❤️Bejé