Marked safe in this new year + a safe phone screensaver

Occasionally, Facebook will let me know that a friend has marked his or herself "safe" after an earthquake, a terrorist attack, or a hurricane. 

As we face a new year, can I encourage to mark yourself "safe" in all the ways that matter?

Sometimes I face the new year with a bit of fear. Will God be there as He has been in the past? Sometimes I face it with some cynicism. God, you didn't really fix that thing I've been praying about. Are you even listening?

Last night, one of my girls had some pre-new-year's panic. All of sudden leaving 2018 behind felt like leaving something warm and familiar and she wasn't ready.

I'm in the middle of Dallas Willard's exposition on the sermon on the mount (The Divine Conspiracy**), and in the chapter on Jesus' teaching on anxiety, Willard sums up Jesus' words:

"'We have no reason ever to be anxious.' 'This present world is a perfectly safe place for us to be.'"

Perfectly safe. Really? That seems a bit rosy, don't you think?

The world can seem so scary to me. At any time I could be marked "not safe" on Facebook!

Because I'm a news scroller, I know lots of ways that people and kids die. Then there's global warming and the threat of nuclear war. I've gardened enough to know that my family would not survive some post-apocalyptic nightmare world if we were forced to feed ourselves off the random vegetable I coax out of the dirt.

"'We have no reason ever to be anxious.' 'This present world is a perfectly safe place for us to be.'"

Jesus doesn't tell me not to worry because it's cute and He's naive. He doesn't pipe in with  pious sayings as we pat him on the head and say, "That's nice, Jesus."

No. He's laid out a way for us to build our lives on the rock of His teaching (Matthew 8:24-27). Peace is possible in a walking, working, growing relationship with Him--the one who hold all things together (Colossians 1:17).  

Even in the crazy storms, I mark myself self: 
✔️ saved, not condemned for my sins
✔️ filled with the Holy Spirit
✔️ eternal life starting now and continuing to eternity (i.e. death can't hold me or my loved ones)
✔️ loved and cared for deeply and personally
✔️ called to a purpose--to be like Jesus
✔️ equipped with a way to live (the Word)

My son (who turns four on Monday) has been having bad dreams. The little felt figures we use for our advent calendar popped out and terrorized him in one dream. I took the calendar down after Christmas so he'd stop giving it the evil eye and shuddering every time he passed. As I took out the figure of Mary, he said, "She was the leader." 

super scary Advent calendar
So I pray for my little buddy before he sleeps. I tell him God is close. I tell him God is like a warm, heavy blanket made of sunshine that wraps him up and keeps him safe. And I pray for him to have good dreams. 

And it works--God works.

"Mama, tell me about the warm blanket," he reminded me last night.

Friends, if panic starts to set in, if the weight of all your to-do's or undones burdens you, tell yourself about the warm blanket of God's love for you. Mark yourself safe in Him.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39 ESV)

I made you a phone screensaver to remind you of this truth. You can get it by clicking on the image below and saving it to your phone.*

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

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