I didn’t stand in fear of the dragon. In fact, its beauty amazed me. The vibrant colors lit up the dark sky. It was just one of countless structures in the Chinese Lantern Festival. It could do me no harm.
But dragons in our lives are another thing. Like the dragon named Mental Illness (MI). Knowing what it’s done in our child’s life, could anyone embrace that creature as a thing of beauty?
The poet, Rainer Maria Rilke seemed to suggest just that. In his Letters to a Young Poet he explains, “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
It seems that Rilke would have us view MI as “something helpless that wants our love.” Seriously? Such twisted philosophy comes from a man who lived his entire life rejecting Christianity. He searched for deeper meaning in life by writing poetry. His poems, therefore, reflect a troubled inner self.
In The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge he writes, “How is it possible to live when after all the elements of this life are utterly incomprehensible to us?” What a sad view of life!
Those of us who know God and who have an intimate relationship with Him gain an eternal perspective of trials. We have a clear vision of what He has done in the past, how He provides for us in the present, and what He will do in the future.
We see God as the One who has already triumphed. As the One who is greater than any challenges before us. And He is the One who will banish the dragon deceiver. Revelation gives us a picture of God’s ultimate power over deception.
“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.” (Revelation 20:1-3).
“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:9).
The deceiver of nations contaminated Rilke’s view of God. He prevented Rilke from finding God in his search for life’s meaning. That deceiver led him astray from knowing God. So Rilke created his own twisted version of God.
But that deceiver of nations does not have to deceive us. We need not listen to that voice that taunts, “God isn’t able to help your child. He’s not even working….” The Bible assures us God IS alive and working in our lives.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is 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).
There may be times in our journey that we wonder where God is. But He is faithful to reveal Himself in our darkest days. And His light is more beautiful than the dragon lantern’s vibrant colors that lit up the dark sky. He’s done it for me and he’ll do it for you.
Here’s a peek at some of the photos I took of the Chinese Lanterns. Click on the link below and enjoy a diversion from your day: