Hello again! Happy New Year!
Lately, I have been thinking about the relationship between chaos and order. While many of us have an idea of what order is, Chaos is “complete disorder and confusion.” (Encarta). My wife and I are studying a book by Danielle Strickland called A Beautiful Mess. The author’s premise is that God does His best work in the midst of chaos and He invites us to join him as He leads us out into following Him.
Time and time again, God builds, establishes and creates through and out of chaos. Consider the two most significant events in history: First, with a word, the creation was birthed…out of chaos. Second, God broke into human space in human form, in a time of great uncertainty, upheaval and terror…chaos.
In His earthly life and ministry, Jesus constantly entered chaotic situations and through the chaos, called people to new life. Out of chaos, more than 5000 folks are fed from a seemingly meagre lunch. A lowly woman at well was transformed into a significant evangelist in her community. On yet another occasion, a demon possessed man is delivered. His story is remarkable as before his healing, he had lived outside the city, “among the dead.” No one dared go near for fear of him. When Jesus met him, Jesus restored him to health and life.
In our own lives, many of us understand what it means to be in chaotic times. While we often associate chaos with difficult experiences such as the rejection or death of spouse, or the loss a job, etc., positive experiences such as the birth of a child, a new vocation or ministry can also be very chaotic. In all of these disordered and confusing experiences, God can and does speak words of life…just as He did at the beginning of time. When God speaks life, He is re-ordering our lives -walking with us through the chaos to life.
He speaks life when he sends someone to care for us when we have experienced loss. He speaks life, when he provides for our needs. He reorders our lives when we are given new insight into how we might build a new life. He brings life when we are given a new opportunity or a new relationship. He speaks life into us when our attention is turned from self-concern and self-absorption to see the need and plight of others.
God meets us in the chaotic times. If we allow Him to teach us, we can learn and grow through difficult and chaotic experiences. Though chaos can be irritating, uncomfortable and perhaps even frightening, God meets us there and uses those experiences to create or re-create something wonderful and lasting.