Life is hard.
Sometimes we know why; sometimes we don't.
Early on, biblical authors developed language for life's difficulties. They repurposed seven words from Genesis 1 to describe earth-shattering events — without form, void, darkness, deep, the waters, sea, and great sea monsters (1:2, 10, 21). (See Sidney Greidanus, From Chaos to Cosmos, 27-33)
Biblical authors apply those seven words to speak of life's traumas in terms of de-creation. And we get this. Haven't you thought, My life is falling apart?
I get it because I've lived it. I dreamed of starting a church, building a family, and God doing beautiful work through us. I didn't envision multiple miscarriages, seasons of infertility, the death of my wife's younger brother, unexplained shortness of breath leading to a heart procedure, hurt church members, and unresolvable conflicts among leaders. The serpent slithered into my Eden of family, church, and pastoral identity, and my nakedness, shame, and fear were undeniable.
Inevitably, chaos without turns into chaos within.
What's the answer?
The Bible is explicit here, too — take refuge in God.
God is our refuge, and we are secure when we hide in Him (Psalm 46, 91:1-2; Colossians 3:1-4). The shift from instability to stability occurs in our hiddenness in Jesus. Jesus is the safe home we've always longed for, and in Him, we regain peace in a troubled world.
Yet, we often react to life's challenges with overwhelm or overworking. This albeit natural response intensifies the loss of peace we have in Jesus because, ultimately, we lose touch with Jesus in a futile attempt to create our own rest.
While we might conclude that overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety, exhaustion, or depletion is our root issue, the issue runs deeper for us as Christians.
The More Insidious Problem
We struggle to agree with St. John, who said, "So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us" (1 John 4:16 - emphasis mine). Sure, we grasp the knowledge that God loves us, but the experience of believing evades us.
This is our actual problem, and this is the work — to embrace a mystery so deep and wide and high that the only way to grasp it is to first be gripped by it (Ephesians 3:14-19).
What's at Stake?
Friends, this journey is about taking responsibility for the only life you've got and experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10).
If you don't do this challenging but rewarding work, you will not know how to weather the storms of life. You will hurt others more than necessary and dwell on pain longer than you should. You will live in a constant state of reaction and survival mode. You won't see beauty, awe, and wonder in the world; instead, you'll consider life a snare waiting to entrap you.
If you go on this journey with me, then you will reconnect with Jesus. And Jesus alone will bring you peace. He stands ready. Jesus invites you into a way of being that is less reactionary and more Spirit-led (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus beckons you to live in a troubled world while being kept from evil because your Jesus is greater than he who is in the world (John 17:15; 1 John 4:4).
How does external chaos impact your inner your world?
If you're wondering what to do now, the first step towards spiritual and emotionally stability is to wrestle with chaos.
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