By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
THERE are several images that capture the essence of this statement: “Serenity in the midst of chaos.” Some are biblical and some may be more personal. What comes to your mind?
- The child in a mother’s lap is offered to the reader in Psalm 131:1-2 (NIV):
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”
This is truly a blessed position in which to find oneself, and it is always available to us as a picture of true serenity in the midst of whatever may be happening around us.
The Lord sleeping in the boat during a storm is a most profound image of what it is to have total and complete trust in God.
The memory of a dark cloud on a stormy day, with a few rays of sunlight creating a glimmer in a corner, serves as a reminder to seek a silver lining in every dark cloud of suffering. God offers us a glimpse of glory in the most unlikely manner, serving to sustain us through the worst of nightmares.
The painting of the bird on a nest behind a thundering waterfall is yet another visual contradiction between noise and turmoil, and the tranquility of safety. The tiny bird is safely perched in a most precarious position as it would appear to us. She is quite content to find peace in the midst of the watery chaos.
There are other passages of Scripture that speak to us of the contrast between being fretful or stressed and being anchored in the Lord: “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.” (Phil 4: 4-7)
There are expressions, such as: “when nothing is certain, anything is possible.” This speaks to the idea of thinking positively, remaining hopeful, being proactive and creative. “Necessity is the mother of invention” is a motivator that reminds us to find a better outcome than that which is immediately apparent.
Even in times of self-doubt, we may turn to the Lord for wisdom and guidance: Corinthians 3:4-6 (NIV).
“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Remembering that the One Who calls is faithful to equip and direct, we can execute faithfully the tasks set before us even in the midst of chaos.
- The sheep led by the shepherd to find green grass and still waters, with the threat of wolves and foxes lurking not far away, is an example of how to relax in the presence of God and rest in the Spirit, so that our souls may be restored.
There are many stories that we can tell of the grace of God in times of trial and tribulation. It is for us to share them with others so that they too may be strengthened on the journey of life. May we never forget to be devoted to a life of prayer, in order to put our full armour on each day, and to rely solely on the Lord, as we take up our crosses to follow Him.