Four children. One dog. Three baby, bottle-fed bunnies. Prom. Birthday parties. Eighth Grade DC trip. Graduation. Deciding which college. Playing frisbee and blowing bubbles...the list could go on!
There are some days when I wake up in the morning and get prepared as I look at the number of things listed on my calendar for that day and week. Prepare mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are moments when chaos screams loudly!
Chaos = complete disorder and confusion. Chaos, disorder, confusion creeps in on those days when I look at the list, the schedule, and allow them to be bundled together in one big cloud that hovers over me all day...and throughout the day more layers build. Rather than seeing each event or activity individually, and focusing on the intricate implication and importance of each one, they all get jumbled together into one massive event known as BUSY! Chaos. Disorder. Confusion.
On the other hand, there is a great difference when I approach a day, one hour at a time, or a week one day at a time. One event or activity at a time. When I am able to take a deep breath in the morning and consider each part of my day and zoom in on all that is associated with each one, recognizing the importance and part they have, I approach my day differently. Order. Structure. Clarity. Calm.
But where is calm? When a scenario like this happens:
I'm at work, get a phone call that one child forgot their shoes. So we talk it through, trying to coordinate it. I leave work, pick up a different child from school, stop at the store for a few needed groceries - like milk. While at the store, a different child sends me a message saying a baby bunny is loose in our house; she's by herself and she's freaking out! Jay takes a 4th child to work. One child begins laundry for a DC trip. The search for the shoes failed at home, so someone goes to the school to look. I eventually pull in the drive. Unload the groceries. Bunny was caught due to a team effort. Phone call came remembering where in the house the shoes were. Jay drives for a shoe exchange. One child is blowing bubbles, which I Ooo and Awww over. Jay makes supper. We eat. I pay bills. Make puppy chow with child for the DC trip. A loud exclamation comes, "AAAAhhh a bunny is loose. Get it!" Trap the bunny. Youngest child wants to stay up until bunny loving child comes home from work so bunny stories can be shared. Receive a text from working child saying, "I'm done." Pick the child up. Read a bedtime book to the youngest and tuck him in. Oldest child receives a revised financial package from a college which we examine and discuss at lengths. Bunnies are fed by bunny loving child. Homework assignment - what's on your bucket list - write them in Spanish. Find my way to my bed and crash!
Chaos or calm? Here's the thing - I actually did not feel chaotic through all of this. I could have freaked out in the midst of it all - but when I can approach each circumstance with a focus on the importance of each separate piece of that story, and when I allow it all to be kept in a perspective, there's a strange sense of calm that forms at the base of that whole afternoon/evening!
Where does the calm in the chaos truly come from? Isaiah 40 paints a picture of perspective. The reality is - we serve a God who created calm - who IS calm!
Read Isaiah 40 - Oh how I invite you to turn to it and read it. Read the whole chapter if you can. There is so much power in these Words.
Here are some nuggets to chew on as we seek the calm in the midst of chaos:
v 7-8 - "The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stand forever."
**** Hold tight to GOD'S WORD. It will last forever. There is a peace in standing firm, finding calm in something solid, unchangeable, everlasting...rather than people, grass, flowers that wither and fade. SOAK IN the WORD OF GOD!
v9 - "You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God!'"
****Proclaim OUT LOUD the power of God! As you verbalize and name and proclaim God's goodness, HE FILLS THE AIR, THE SITUATION, THE ROOM and replaces CHAOS WITH CALM!
v10-27 (I won't type all these verses here, but please, oh please, look them up - THEY ARE SO GOOD!!!!! )
****Here you will find amazing descriptions of God. Sovereign. Power. Shepherd. Gathers the lambs and holds them close to his heart. Who/What can you compare to God? OH soak in each of these characteristics and get an understanding of how powerful, how mighty, how loving, how "in-control" our God is!!!
**** Visualize Him (like in v 22) seated above the earth, covering us....just imagine that - rest in the idea that He has us all covered under His wings!
v28-31 (These are verses we might be more familiar with - maybe have them memorized - we even sing songs with these words, there are many pictures with these verses on them...)
**** How many times have we considered what verses lead up to these familiar verses? As we study and meditate on verses 1-27, there is a whole new power and sense of calm when we, like in v 31, "...hope in the Lord" Hope in the very one that is and does all those things described in the earlier verses. Because we serve a God that is uncomparable, unchangeable, Creator...Because of His power and dominion, we can soar, run and walk...we can step into each day, each situation and find the calm in the chaos.
Our world - our broken world - swirls in chaos - in disorder, in confusion ...relationally, spiritually, politically, physically, emotionally, mentally....but NOTHING and NOBODY has ANYTHING on our God!
No matter how tumultuous a day, a week, a month or a year appears, God is still in control. HE is the CALM in the CHAOS. Because HE IS!!!!!
* Immerse in the Word of God
* Proclaim His presence
* Grasp His bigness and power
* Keep going - hope, soar, run and walk......finding the calm in the chaos!
May "the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
* Is your life grounded in God's Word? Or are you standing on the grass and flowers of people - of things that will wither and fade?
* Make it a point to say out loud at some point in your day how much God means to you. Tell someone about who God is in your life. Proclaim how God is in a situation.
* Write down all the descriptions and characteristics of God described in Isaiah 40 - and if you want, find others in other passages to add to the list.
* Start each day, hoping in the Lord, allowing yourself to soar and run and walk. How might that look for you? How can you intentionally approach your day, a situation, a schedule and find calm in the chaos?
* Read Psalm 46 - God is our refuge and strength.....Be still and know!