Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Coping with Reality

I asked my art class what they wanted to draw next.
"A cabin!" one shouted.
"With mountains!" another said.
"And a dog!" a third one cried out.
"With a dragon!" a fourth suggested.
"How about if we leave the dragon for the next picture?" I said. Fortunately, the dragon lover agreed.

Since I would not have much time to prepare after returning from my daughter's out of state wedding, I knew I had to do a practice pastel drawing this week. So yesterday, while praying to God about some of the disturbing trends in our society, I drew the picture above. It was very calming. I thought again how blessed I am to be able to draw. How do people who can't recreate a world the way they wish it was cope with reality?

For example, I got two texts last night from two different mamas we work with who chose life at the abortion mill. Both had been doing really well. Both had hit major bumps in the road. Neither is an artist. What do they do to soldier on?

Psalm 46:1-11 gives us a good idea of the best way to cope when reality disappoints:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. ...

In the midst of earthquakes, mountains collapsing into the sea, tsunamis and floods...God is immovable. His holy habitation awaits us, and is secure from all the ravages of the world where we reside. God Himself is the unshakable refuge in the cataclysmic shifts of earthly life.

There is a passage in the beautiful Psalm 23 that I never thought much about till recently, but it relates perfectly here.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overfloweth...

This is a remarkable image. How many of us are surrounded by enemies, in mortal battle, and sit down to a quiet and sumptuous feast, relaxing as our head is anointed with oil and our cup is filled to the brim?

Answer: None! We are shooting, hiding, running, freaking out!

Yet look at the image God sends us of how He leads us in this frightening, conflict-ridden, and fallen world. We are seated at a banquet though our enemies are all around us. We eat and drink in peace while God Himself keeps the enemy at bay.

Ultimately, He is the only reality that matters. The earth and its pleasures will pass away, but God remains forever. He and I, He and you, are seated together, safely enjoying the bounty of His eternal goodness. The enemies may surround us, but they cannot harm us. Not eternally.

That is even more comforting than drawing my pretty picture! Meanwhile, I have a whole host of supporters of Cities4Life I hope to galvanize to help the mamas. God is sufficient, but we cannot sit idly by while His people suffer when we have the means to help.

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1 John 5:13-14

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

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