3 Things to Remember in Chaotic Times
Chaotic times are inevitable. I know – I’ve experienced my share. Chaotic times look different for everyone. Maybe you relate to some of the chaotic times I’ve experienced like…
- Being laid off
- Living with my daughter’s life threatening immune disorder for 7 years
- My daughter being hospitalized in the midst of moving across the country
- Moving to a new state then living in a house while completely remodeling it
- My son getting married during a season I was experiencing un-explainable physical symptoms
- Being diagnosed with Lyme disease – that un-explainable illness
- And now…coronavirus or COVID 19 – crazy unprecedented times
Chaotic Times Are Uncertain
No matter what kind of chaos you find yourself in, the common trait that accompanies these seasons is uncertainty. Do you choose to trust God and His deep love for you or do you drift into fear and allow anxiety to consume you?
God frequently brings to my mind the terrible storm Jesus and His disciples found themselves in. Being in a boat out on the sea is not the ideal place to encounter a storm. While the sea raged around them, tossing the boat violently to and fro on the water, the disciples began to fret. Jesus slept. It made me ponder what it was that gave Him such peace in utter chaos.
Leading up to their wild boat ride, life was pretty hectic. Everyone wanted Jesus’ attention. He healed many, shared parables, and was followed around by crowds of people – so many people his own mother and brothers were unable to access Him.
After the stormy boat adventure, Jesus was immediately approached by a mad man, who He freed of demons, making the people panic and ask Him to leave. In the next town a stream of people were waiting for Him. More healing and helping and on it goes! It all adds up to quite a lot. More than most of us could handle.
Peace Is Possible!
In the midst of all that was going on around Him, Jesus was at peace!
Jesus had a big calling. He was blessed with the grace, or God’s ability, to accomplish what He was called to do. So what might seem like too much, chaotic, or terrifying to you and me wasn’t to Him. He fully relied on His Father for everything!
Jesus isn’t the only one who has a calling on their life. God has something important for you to do too! He longs for you to depend on Him in greater ways. His heart is for you to reflect Him with your unique personality, skills and abilities. He wants to redeem your experiences – even the chaotic ones you’ve been through in ways that will make a difference in the lives of others.
There will be storms and chaos along the way; moments that feel like too much. There will be uncertain times! How can you be at peace and “sleep” through the storm? The very same thoughts that Jesus clung to! That is to remember…
1. WHO Has Called You
Jesus knew how deeply loved He was by the Father. God loves you that very same way! He wants what is best for you even when life feels out of control. When you depend on Him and ask Him for help, He loves it! He is eager to reveal Himself to you in those moments if you will allow Him to. He is a good Father that lavishes you with His grace.
And He has called you to do something that is impossible without His help; He has a unique purpose for you. It may be a specific mission or it may be a way of “being” that reflects Him and impacts the people around you in positive ways. Perhaps it’s both!
2. WHAT You Are Called To
Despite how things seem, keep on doing what you know you have been made to do! That’s what real faith is: taking steps forward even when you’re discouraged or you don’t know what’s ahead and work or life seems shaky. Trust that He will lead you! Jesus was clear about what He was sent to this world to do.
3. HOW You Walk That Out
Jesus was not confused about who was calling the shots. Jesus states in Matthew 7 that the thing that is required is obedience – doing the will of the Father. In John 5:19, Jesus explains that He only does what He sees the Father doing. There is tremendous peace in obedience. It puts the focus on the task and not on how it will turn out. That’s what enabled Jesus to peacefully sleep in the midst of a raging storm.
Just this morning God reminded me of His words to Joshua:
Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. Joshua 1:9 (MSG)
Don’t let chaotic times distract you from courageously pursuing what God’s called you to do regardless of the perceived outcome. Be obedient!
In the midst of chaos and uncertain circumstances, your calling has not changed. In fact, turbulent times offer you the perfect opportunity to grow and prepare you for what He has for you next. It’s your responsibility to walk in a manner that reflects your identity in Him and to do the next thing He tells you to do.
Stop worrying about all the “what if’s” and just trust Him. He so longs for you to depend on Him! Chaotic times aren’t a surprise to Him and even better, He’s more than able to get you through! Relax, do your part and let Him do the heavy lifting. Work challenges, health challenges like coronavirus or Lyme disease, natural disasters, or fill in the blank, none of them are beyond His abilities or outside of His control!
Even when times are tough, there are positive take-a-ways like discovering what you are made of and what you depend on. And there are sweet moments where God reveals His copious love for you.
How will you handle the chaos that comes your way personally or professionally?
Originally posted on 4/23/14. This post has been updated and revised for these uncertain times!
In the last months I have learned to quiet my thoughts. If I truly believe that God knows my needs and will take care of all of them, I have to trust.
I feel so much better when I do.
Yes! We serve a trustworthy God! Time spent dwelling on that and quieting your thoughts is time well spent!
Of course you caught my eye with this analogy. I do feel I am doing what God has called me to do, but I am watching someone else who says they are doing God’s calling but they have minimal peace and minimal satisfaction because things are not as good as they think they should be. They are depending on God, but it is hard to watch when they are not at peace.
Will God bless this person with joy down the road? They feel they have stepped in the right direction.
Peace is a good indicator. If we are inside His will… we should have peace!