Encouragement From The Word

Chaos, and the alternative

Chaos.  It’s all around us.  And if we’re honest, we don’t like it one bit.

My wife and I have lived in a few days of chaos this week as the windows in our home were replaced.  It’s amazing how frustrating it can be not to have a clean, flat surface on which to work!  (Of course, that was my fault; I probably could have moved furniture away from windows in such a way that I might have been able to function better.)  Still, to find very little of what resembles normality in the house even for a few days can be jarring.  We don’t like chaos, even when the end result is extremely beneficial.

Many people, though, live with chaos as part of everyday life.  Consider those who live with addiction (both the addict and his/her loved ones), those who struggle with mental illness of various kinds, and those who live under the spotlight of pressure to perform, whether famous or not.  By the choices they make or the decisions imputed upon them, there are folks for whom chaos is their norm.

Consider what the Lord Jesus said:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14.27, NIV).  The peace that Jesus gives is the exact opposite of – and the antidote to – the chaos on which we live.  It is a gift from God, and it is our initiative that opens that gift.  Jesus offers us his peace all the time, yet too often we spurn his gift.  We get ourselves wound up so that we don’t even realize that peace is an option.  When I was wound up tighter than a two-dollar watch earlier this week, I know it was because I was choosing to live in the chaos instead of live in the peace of Christ.

What about you?  These days, with all that’s in the news, it’s easy to point fingers at those whose lives are filled with chaos, all the while living in a chaos of our own.  Are you choosing to live in and with the peace Jesus gives?  When you name him as Saviour and Lord, Jesus is ready to breathe his breath in you, live his life through you, and fill you to overflowing with his peace.

Take a moment right now.  Breathe deeply.  Ask the Lord to fill you with his peace.  And live intentionally from within that peace he gives.

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