Houston, Texas (USA) is in a state of chaos. Hurricane Harvey has caused massive amounts of rain to fall, rivers to overflow, and streets, homes, and buildings to be submerged under water. Thousands are stranded in their homes, and tens of thousands are living in stadiums, warehouses, or churches. To make matters worse, criminals have taken advantage of this time by impersonating government officials, stealing from people, or simply looting abandoned homes. It is utter chaos.
A Smooth Life in an Otherwise Chaotic World
Compared to the citizens of Houston, my personal life seems fairly smooth at the moment. Of course “Harvey” is not the only chaos-generating issue in the world right now. ISIS, North Korea, and partisan politics represent just some of the chaos in the world around us.
Of course, we all have our personal struggles we cannot always understand or control — the devastating medical diagnoses, the words you never thought you would hear from a loved one, the job you no longer have, or the overwhelming grief you still feel long after the funeral.
We all feel threatened by
the chaos of a fallen world.
What is Your Level of Chaos?
As you look at life from your perch, does it seem like chaos is all around you? Chaos and disorder is a part of what it means to live in a fallen world. We know things do not always go right, life is not always smooth, and at times, it seems like everything around us is falling apart, threatening to overwhelm us.
In Genesis chapter one, we are told that at the beginning of creation, the earth was formless, void, and dark. That is chaos in its purest form. Some translations use the very word "chaos" to describe the primeval state of our universe. But it was precisely in that time that God spoke, and out of chaos came form and order. Light and beauty appeared, and out of chaos, God made the Garden.
God is Not Overwhelmed by Chaos
As we experience life, we know there will be times of pain, uncertainty, confusion, and grief — the chaos of life. But God is not overwhelmed by chaos. Instead, He walks above our disorder. As we cultivate a more intimate walk with Him, our chaos, though no less real, becomes less overwhelming.
There is One who controls chaos,
and He invites us to walk with Him daily.
An intimate relationship with Jesus does not necessarily make chaos disappear, but it does mean we are walking with the One who has it under control.
As we begin the Christmas season, we are reminded of how Christmas is a yearly expression of the ultimate experience of waiting. As kids, we were waiting the entire month for Christmas morning but think back to the excitement of waiting waiting on the Savior!!
It's easy to give thanks to the Lord when things are going well, but how often do we give that same thanks during rough times? Give thanks to the Lord, and pray without ceasing.
Are we actually doing more harm than good by doing nothing at all? Do we hurt those in need by taking no action at all? It's time for us to do stand up and do something!
While we may not love what we see in the mirror, most of us would never leave home without first checking our appearance to make sure everything was in order. Paul also instructed the Corinthians to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves" (II Cor. 13:5).
The idea of making a joyful noise to the Lord is often associated with singing, but our "noises" don't always have to be audible. When we live a life pleasing to God, we truly begin living loud.
We all have personal struggles we cannot always understand or control, but God is not overwhelmed by our chaos. Where are you at in your walk with God?
Our neighbor’s house, spouse, servant or ox would be no temptation if we were truly and completely content in our circumstances and life situations. It is as though we could rephrase the tenth commandment by saying, “Be content.”
The deeper and broader we look, the more we can see the hand of God moving over the earth in power and authority. How do you see God at work in the world?
We all go through periods of "dryness" in our spiritual lives, those times in the dry desert when we feel empty, alone, and far from God. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, the remedy for spiritual dryness is quite simple.
Maybe even the worst of times aren't far from the best of times when we trust our unfailing God all of the time. Do you believe God is working all things together for your good?
Like sheep, we have gone astray, but we aren't just any sheep, we are the sheep of His pasture.
Billions of people are waiting to hear the Gospel, but, "If you don’t know, then you don’t know that you don’t know." Will you tell those who don't even realize they need the Good News of Christ?