It felt good to return to work after traveling half-way around the world and back. I love to travel because it reminds me of just how big this world is–a healthy reality check! However flying twelve hours in a plane to begin and conclude the adventure was hard! What helped on our return flight, was watching a map of our progress as we flew out of Beijing to Toronto over oceans and seas, land areas and towns I had never heard of. As we made our slow progress traveling the nearly 7,000 miles across the globe (“slow” being a very relative application here!) I thought about what a speck in God’s amazing cosmos we actually are! It is amazing to me how we humans live as if the reverse were true; viewing ourselves as big and God as small and distant.
Travel is not the only way to receive that much-needed reality check. The Scriptures also serve as an excellent means of keeping us straight as to who God is and who we are not! That is why in the Counseling Room, frequent trips to the Bible are the key means of keeping our bearings. There are a myriad of places to go for help, depending upon the need. Often, when the problem(s) seem particularly daunting, I have found the broad spectrum comfort and assurance of Psalm 121 a helpful beginning. (I invite you to stop and read the following passages aloud, just as my clients do. Allow God’s Spirit to minister to whatever need you have as only He can do.)
God knows and cares about what is happening in your life and mine! Even as we sleep, He is at work watching over us.
Another one of my favorites we frequent for a spiritual reality check (especially when the problems are nasty and overwhelming) is chapter six in the Apostle Paul’s letter to his friends in Ephesis. The passage reminds us that the battles we face are far larger than we can see; that God will provide the courage and power we lack to stand as we lean fully on Him. (Again, be blessed as you read this slowly aloud. Pay special attention to the scope of the battle and be encouraged by the Source of our strength as we are called to stand)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6: 10-18)
No matter where you are in your life, be you problem-free or facing challenges like never before, referring to the Scriptures on a regular basis is a good and needful part of walking well with Christ. However, honoring the highlighted portion of the Ephesians is what makes for a truly meaningful reality check in each of our lives. When we “pray in the Spirit on all occasions”we entrust ourselves to God’s enormity as our Creator and Provider. There is no more meaningful reality check than that!