Fighting Dragons

2017-12-07 09.06.58Have you ever felt like you’re fighting an uphill battle?  Your goal is clear and you know it must be reached, but a host of seemingly insurmountable odds stand in the way.  It’s like something precious to you–perhaps your child–is trapped in a prison, but fierce, fiery dragons stand menacingly between you and the imprisoned child.  You know defeat isn’t an option, but you have no idea how victory will be achieved.

I know people determined to fight against all odds.  They firmly take a stand against dragons. Some are passionate about foster care and adoption–they want to provide a safe home for children who need it.  Others are passionate about racial reconciliation–they want to heal the gaping divides of prejudice, hatred, and hurt that still separate people from people.  Others strive for women’s rights–they want women to be treated and viewed as having just as much value as men, worthy of respect and equal opportunity rather than sexual abuse.  Others want to end genocide, or starvation, or the abuses of atrociously oppressive regimes, or partial-birth abortion, or cancer, or people dying from obesity and heart disease (two largely preventable and very deadly chronic diseases).  These are all huge, important battles.

Everyone has a different set of dragons to overcome, and there are too many in this broken world for anyone to succeed in eradicating them.  But what if you just need to fight enough of them to reach your goal (or save your child?)  Or what if you’re just called to fight your particular dragons and leave the results to God, knowing the fight will either last a lifetime or claim your life?

Most people who find purpose and meaning in life are fighting for good somewhere. They’ve seen an area of injustice or oppression or pain and want to help.  They’ve identified some good they want to accomplish.  They have a goal and want to devote some part of their time and life to making right what is so apparently evil and wrong.

What is your passion?  What dragons are you fighting?

This world is horrifyingly broken.  Atrocities and abuses are committed constantly. There are so many dragons to fight.  

Here’s the tricky part, though: The battle isn’t as simple as fighting innumerable dragons with a clear goal in mind.  That would certainly be bad enough, but reality is even worse.

Because both people and the world are broken, we don’t always identify the enemy correctly.  We don’t always correctly pinpoint the good for which we are striving, either. Sometimes we get sidetracked, or our game plan is seriously flawed and entails substantial collateral damage.  We know there’s something we should be fighting, but we turn away from the dragons and start fighting with each other, instead.  

Our situation is very, very dire.  It is, in fact, deadly.

Not only are there dragons without waiting to devour us, but there are also dragons within–there’s evil inside of us all that is continually betraying, lying, and confusing us. To be very honest, we often listen to the whispering dragon within and ignore the trapped child beyond the real dragons.  When this happens, we cease fighting for good…and sometimes, we become so confused and blind that we can no longer differentiate good from evil.  We’re truly in a horrific mess.

I think it’s this frightening, wretched state that fuels our love for superhero movies and stories.  We love it when ultimate good confronts ultimate bad, and then good triumphs! We all long to be rescued, and many of us long to be the hero who can fly in and save the day.  We know, deep down, that there are dragons to be fought.

But if we can’t effectively fight the dragons, what hope is there for the trapped child or even for ourselves?

The answer is one infinitely beautiful word: Jesus.

Every December, we celebrate a holiday called Christmas.  This holiday was originally set aside to remember and celebrate the only Superhero with the power to eradicate all dragons everywhere–both those within and those without.  He is the Promised Son from long ago, the Rescuer who would crush the head of the serpent and end evil forever.  He came to make all things good and new again.  He came to restore our ability to love and know we are loved.  He came to fix the shattered relationships between people and people; people and God; and people and Creation.

Evil is real. Evil shatters beauty and goodness, incinerating it with hot, hungry flames. But we have a True Hero who can bring beauty back from the ashes.  He’s that strong, and He’s that good.

The dragons keep us from truly living–they prevent us from living the way we were made to live.  We were made to love.  Love is wanting good for someone and then doing that good.  In our current state, we do the opposite–we try to make ourselves happy at the expense of others, oblivious to the reality that we can only be happy when we love. But once again, both love and happiness are only possible with the help and grace of our Rescuer.

Who has God placed in your life to love?

I’ve identified a couple of dragons I feel called to fight.  I’m going to fight for kids–I’m determined to reach those children trapped beyond the dragons.  I want kids to see reality clearly. I want them to know that though people and the world are horribly broken, Jesus came to rescue us.  He came to fight the dragons within and the dragons without, eradicating them and restoring the beauty He originally intended.  I want kids to know Jesus.

That’s why I wrote The Advent Storybook.  I initially wrote it for my own kids, hoping to paint a sweeping picture of the grace and beauty of our Rescuer.  Then God expanded my goal to include other kids–and that’s why I’m trying to publish this book. My dream is for the story of His rescue to spread all over the world–I eventually want The Advent Storybook translated into other languages, as well.

Right now, I’m facing the fierce dragons of inadequate resources.  I simply cannot publish it on my own.  The book is on Kickstarter right now.  Would you consider joining me in this fight?  Or if you know anyone with a similar passion, could you pass the link on to them?

I’ve noticed that once people identify their passion and their particular dragons, they become convinced that everyone else needs to fight for the same good as them. Frequently, they self-righteously look down their noses at people who lack their passion or aren’t interested in fighting the same dragons.

We all need to remember that when you boil it down, we are all trying to fight against evil and for good. And we all need to remember that no one can do good or love in their own power.  Everyone needs Jesus to rescue them and empower them to join in His rescue.  

Perhaps your passion isn’t helping children know the Rescuer.  If not, that’s ok–I pray grace and strength over you, from Jesus, in your particular battle and passion.  But if your passion intersects with mine in some way, I would love some help in my fight!

My hope for victory ultimately rests in Jesus, my Rescuer.  I know He wanted me to step toward those kids, knowing that I can’t fund the project by myself.  The dragons are there, but I’m going to fight, knowing the results are in God’s big, good, strong hands.

Let’s do this.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s