The world seems to be burning up in flames. There is chaos everywhere I look.
My social/news feeds never fail to share with me daily violence that is erupting in streets around the world. Car bombs, shootings, stabbings, aggressive protests, fires raging, hate fueling, and fear hovering over every one of us.
And all that is on top of natural disasters, heat waves and famines, lack of drinking water, and other horrific conditions burdening people all over.
My heart is twisted in knots. My mind is racing. I wrestle with anxiety and I have to push back fear as if it were an intruder.
I worry about what is going on all over the globe, because I truly care. And it is such a challenge for me amidst my own circumstances. I feel ashamed to feel burdened by what I face because I know there are others who struggle way worse. But that information doesn’t dissipate the hardship in my life. The perspective helps bring truth to light, but hardship is everywhere, for everyone.
We recently bought a house that needed a major renovation. While I feel blessed to have had the chance to buy our first home – something I know not every person has the opportunity to do – we have faced some difficulties in the process of fixing it up. For example, we had to be out of our rental house by the end of June and our house was not quite completed, missing toilets and sinks, paint and drywall, some of the necessities for us. My husband and I along with our two young kids ended up staying with two different friends and at a hotel for 11 days as we tried to finish up the house as quickly as we could so we could move in.
Everything worked out of course, but not without a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I tried to keep a true perspective of our situation, but that doesn’t mean that things weren’t hard at times. They were.
Here is the thing. I know I’m not the only one. I know that everyone is feeling the things I am feeling. I know that everyone has different circumstances in their life calling for their attention and draining them emotionally. Housing situations, transitions, sick babies, sick spouses, financial crisis, friendships hanging on by a thread, and other threats that bombard our weary souls. THIS…all in addition to watching or being directly affected by the chaos happening in the world.
Things feel unstable and unsafe.
It feels as though peace has left the earth…but I want to assure you it hasn’t.
I am striving to find peace in my home and in my life amidst the chaos.
Will you join me?
I was thinking about all the ways we can experience peace and this is what I was reminded of:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
So no matter what is going on in our lives or around the world, there are some things that need to remain consistent in our lives.
We need to rejoice always. Rejoice is a verb, it is an action, it is something we do. Rejoice is to feel great joy. In order to do this we need to be able to take our eyes off of the chaos for a moment to be able to see the things we can rejoice about. We need to see our spouses, our children, the things we have the privilege of having, and we need to be thankful for it all. Be thankful for what you do have and don’t feel shameful for it. What you can do if you are feeling like you have a ton of excess in your life, extra blessing, find a way to serve and bless someone else with what you have.
When we are chaotic and we act out of our anxiousness or fear, we are not able to experience peace. In fact, I have personally experienced the opposite happen. More chaos. More pain. We need to be peacemakers if we want peace in our lives. We need to be gentle in the way that we treat others and we need to be gentle in the way we move ourselves. And not just when we are around friends or at church…we need to be gentle in our homes. We need gentleness to be genuine.
We forget this one, don’t we? In the middle of the chaos, we want to burst out and scream, we want to rant on social media, we want to complain to our spouse. All that does is add fuel to the fire. We need to remember to pray and present our cares to God. We need to tell Him how we feel, how the world needs help, and ask Him how He can use us to bring peace to the chaos. We need to pray hard. We need to be ok with getting down on our knees in the middle of doing the third set of dishes for the day and ask for His divine help with our families. We need to petition for His peace.
When we do these things the peace of God guards our hearts. We will experience peace. And we will be ambassadors of peace for this weary and broken world.