Reflections After Watching “Slumdog Millionaire”

The other night, my family watched Slumdog Millionaire. There is something so inspiring about this story of a young man, named Jamal, from the slums of India, who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to win the love of his life and become wealthy beyond his wildest dreams by winning his country’s version of the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I’ve seen the movie several times but, with each viewing, I am still inspired and filled with hope. And each time I see it, a different facet or aspect of the movie speaks to me.

What captured my attention the other night was the correlation between the most heartbreaking events of his life and the game show questions that made him wealthy. Every question on the show related directly to the most painful experiences of the main character’s life. Had he not gone through those difficult circumstances, he wouldn’t have been equipped to answer the questions that changed his life for the better.

Watching the movie this time, it was like seeing my own life playing out on the screen in front of me. The last several years of my life, and that of my family, have been some of the most challenging I (we) have ever had to face. Like Jamal, my husband and I have been daring to try to fulfill the dreams of our hearts, only to see every attempt appear to fail. And just like Jamal, we refuse to give up, no matter how things look.

Suddenly, it all became clear, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. Had it not been for those experiences in his life, Jamal wouldn’t have had the answers to the questions that changed his life for the better and set him free. Did the Lord mean for Jamal or me or you to go through the painful events we have faced in life? Absolutely not! The Lord takes the things that are meant to harm or destroy us and turns them around and uses them to help us.

But God did more than just blessing Jamal financially. God typically accomplishes more than one thing when he intercedes in our life. Each question on the game show brought up a painful experience from Jamal’s past. With every question, the hurt and anguish of his past was brought up. I love the ending scene of the movie where Jamal is at the train station hoping that the love of his life will know to find him waiting for her there. At the moment Jamal sees her, the movie weaves a tail of flashbacks to the heartbreaking experiences this couple endured over the years; the exact same events that were brought up in the questions on the show. As Jamal recounts these things, while he is running towards the woman he loves, the wounds from his past are healed and he is set free to live his life as God truly intended.

And this gives me hope that in my life, the Lord will, at the appointed time, fulfill His promises to me and my family. He will heal the wounds of my past and I will live the life that He destined for me. And the same holds true for you.

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