Bible · Calm · Chaos · christian · Christian Devotion · faith · peace · purpose · Spirit · Uncategorized · worry

The Calm in Chaos

Calm in Chaos

Have you ever had one problem and made an effort to resolve the problem, only to find a bigger one develop?

That happened to us. Our dishwasher broke. We bought a new one. I woke up to puddles all around the dishwasher, but I hadn’t even run the new dishwasher yet. It didn’t seem to be a big deal until we went to the first level and noticed that water was pouring onto the carpet from the ceiling, and the wall and carpet were destroyed. ServPro has been here daily to remove our hardwood floors, sink and drywall. It’s a real mess. To make matters worse, nobody wants to take responsibility for the mistake. The installation people say it’s a defective dishwasher, and the dishwasher company says it’s the installation company’s fault.

My husband and I have been on the phone and sent numerous emails, trying to get the issue resolved. Of course, I just want our home restored back to the condition it was in before we got the new dishwasher. Sometimes, life is just like that. We have a problem, and on the journey to resolve the issue, other problems and challenges arise. What do we do in these situations?

One major thing that I’ve noticed is that patience is very important. We want things resolved quickly, but the truth is, some things just take time—sometimes, a lot of time. We just have to go through the process. If we rush to try to fix it, we aren’t allowing God to fix it. When He does a thing, He does it well.

I was at the point of almost wanting to yell at an impolite customer service representative. It may have been very justifiable to get angry, but my lack of self-control and patience could’ve had a bad outcome for us. Remember in Numbers when Moses was in the wilderness with the Israelites? God told him to speak to the rock and water would spring forth. However, Moses got angry with the people and struck the rock (and water rushed out).

God gave Moses clear instructions, and he disobeyed them. God also gives us clear instructions as to how to conduct our lives in His Word. In the midst of our issue or problem, we can’t justify our behavior based on someone else’s bad conduct or actions. In Moses’ case, he was frustrated by the people’s complaining. I’ve been frustrated with the dishwasher and service people. Think about it. What are you angry or frustrated about? It doesn’t matter what it is. There is still no excuse. God’s Word calls us to be patient and longsuffering.

Moses also took credit for water coming out of the rock. God is the one who provided the miracle. We have to think about it? Our way out of problems and issues in life is Him. When there is a solution provided, He deserves the credit.

When we have problems, we have an opportunity to show others the love of Christ. Instead of me angrily going off about the problem, I should’ve been peaceful and patient.

Moses and His people never saw the Promised Land in Moses’ time because of his disobedience, pride and anger. We have to be careful not to make mistakes in the midst of problems that can put us in a much worse situation.

I’m resolved to work through this dishwasher fiasco with the love of Christ anchoring my feelings in the right place. As a side note, it looks like some repairs and remodeling that we’ve been putting off can finally be resolved. If we stop to meditate on His Word and His will in the midst of chaos, He will show us the good that can come out of any seemingly bad situation. Chaos can catapult us into greater. Don’t trust me on it; trust Him!

Trusting Him with you,

MaRita

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Bible · christian · Christian Devotion · faith · peace · purpose · Spirit · worry

Higher Heights, Deeper Depths

 

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

 

I admit it. I’m challenged by the mere thought of heights (I’m trying not to use the word afraid as a woman of faithJ), which is why I didn’t like the idea of stopping off for a little mini-vacation on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  There are certain areas where I haven’t allowed my faith to reach maturation, and this is one.  In a household of all males, I’d never be outvoted on this one. I sucked it up, grabbed a latte and a dose of courage as we traveled up the mountain in the dreary weather.

While we followed the trail, I wasn’t fearful at all.  We passed markers along the way giving us historical information about this location and that while we laughed and took pictures. I forgot that we were going up the mountain. It didn’t feel like we were ascending, but when we came off of the trail, I realized that we’d reached the pinnacle. I hadn’t even felt the incline. My guys all remarked at how breathtaking the view was, and I agreed, but in a much different way. My stomach dropped when I realized that we were so high up.

It got me thinking though. What would our problems, challenges and fears look like if our focus stayed on the right things?  While we hiked up the trail, I was focused on the nature around me and just enjoying time with my family, not my fear of heights. For those reasons, I made it up the mountain without worry. In that same way, we are all bombarded with problems, great and small, but we should take the time to consider what our focus should be.

It’s only natural for a trial to have our attention. Sometimes life’s trials are so consuming, we can’t turn a blind eye to them.  The reality of the problem seems overwhelming. We may try to figure out why it’s happened and strategize for a way out. If we can’t come up with an immediate solution, we can feel distraught, depressed, and either make a decision out of impulse or become stagnant out of fear.

Most of us know that we should turn to God, cast our cares on Him, and pray about everything, including problems and obstacles. However, how do we focus on God in the midst of trying to make a difficult decision? How can we keep our eyes fixed on God’s promises when there seems to be no way of escape? And how can we be at peace when unrest is all around us?

Initially, grappling with these questions have brought me plenty of sleepless nights. The what ifs have made me feel like a dog chasing its tail. I would have a day of peace and the next day be right back wrestling with the same problem. Sometimes life throws us situations that can shake our faith if we allow it. We don’t see God intervening the way that we expect–even after we’ve prayed, fasted, and meditated on His Word.

I’m convinced that during these times, we have to keep doing all that we know to do is right. We must keep praying, fasting, meditating–in the midst of the doubt. We have keep doing these things until our spirit, soul, mind and body is in alignment with God’s will and timing. We have to refuse to allow our feelings to dictate our behavior!

We have to remember that when we get through the test, we will be at another place in our faith if we keep pressing forward in Him. We will reach a higher height and deeper depth in our faith, which will bring us to another level of peace and joy in Him.

In Ephesians 3:17, Paul instructs,

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

We have power when we are anchored in His love and even more so when we fellowship with other believers. This power equips us, even in the most difficult times, to grasp the height and depth of His love us. He loves us. His love sustains us and elevates us above life’s many problems. We have to silence the noise of our issues, and hear His voice. We are His children, and He has not left us. The peace in the valley that we have access to is ours, but we must know that He loves us. His divine purpose for our lives will not be altered as a result of the test. In fact, we are catapulted to our purpose when we go through the test. He told us that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

Knowing that God’s “love surpasses knowledge” is something that has kept my faith in check.  He allows things to happen that don’t always make sense to us, but accepting that He knows and loves us can give us the assurance to quell the anxiety, questions, and fear. When we come up the mountain and through the test, we will find ourselves in a higher place in Him and His love.

Trusting Him with you,

MaRita