Through the years I have consistently been described by others as calm or peaceful.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to a relatively new friend saying, “I wonder sometimes if you think I'm only content when experiencing personal chaos, but the truth is that our friendship germinated during a period of my life that is best characterized as extreme spiritual upheaval.”
This made my friend laugh, which tells me I wasn’t far off the mark.
Of course, I do enjoy a deep and abiding peace in Christ, but His Spirit has been stirring my soul in ways that are neither calm nor peaceful. And I’m profoundly grateful. I don’t want to make it sound like everything previous was a waste—God has always been molding and shaping me, I’ve long recognized His call on my life, and have focused on knowing Him for years—but this thing He’s been doing in me these past four or five years has been . . . well, like a rebirth.
Messy, to be sure.
Oswald Chambers wrote: “Before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him . . . He then providentially produces a crisis where we have to decide—for or against. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives.”
Admittedly, my crisis has been longer than a “moment”—a lengthy wrestling with my own concept of God, self, ministry, community, faith, sacrifice. But it’s been intense. Refreshingly intense. I can only say that now, though, when I’m finally gaining a little perspective on it.
What about you? What kind of crisis or chaos has God brought into your life? And how are you managing in the midst of it? If you’re like me, most days you probably feel like you’re barely hanging on. But as long as you’re hanging on to Him, you’re exactly where you need to be.
I imagine the chaos in my life is pretty much just getting started. That there's more He wants to do in and through me. You should see the smile on my face at that thought. Remind me of that later, okay?