Serenity is not the absence of chaos – it’s the abundance of Christ in the midst of chaos.
Personal peace is a highly desired commodity these days. As a matter of fact we try to control and fabricate our own sense of peace when we feel we experience a personal power loss.
Take thunderstorms for example. Their power is captivating, beautiful and sometimes intimidating. The thunder, the rain, the wind and lightning are reminders that a power greater than us is in control. In Oklahoma we often see thunderstorms lead to tornadoes and flash floods. Because of this many of us have storm shelters. The shelters don’t stop the storm, they provide serenity in the midst of it. This is one of the ways we fabricate control, in some sense, during a storm (and a good way I might add).
But then there are simply things about a storm we cannot control. Call me archaic, but I love when a storm kills power to the house. There’s something connecting about candles, story-telling and simple conversation with loved ones when we lose power in a storm – I love it.
When Storms Are Out of Control
What would it look like if we took the controlling approach in every storm? What if every time it rained we drove to the nearest sunny city and pretended it wasn’t raining? Or worse yet, what if we stepped outside and rebuked the rain, telling it to ease up and give us a break? Stupid right? We absolutely cannot control the storm – it’s not within our power to do so. If you think about it, storms are a reminder of our personal lack of power.
In Luke 8:22-25 Jesus’ friends encountered a “power loss” and they were certain it would kill them. Their little boat may as well have been made of paper as it quickly filled with water while their best friend and leader (Jesus) slept… literally slept in the storm. This is nuts! I’d be cussing at Jesus if I were His friend and He was sleeping in “my storm”; calling Him every word synonymous with insane. Sound familiar?
Jesus woke up at the sound of their cries, told the storm to shut its mouth (and it did) and then asked a very important question: “Where is your faith?”. Let the question of Christ sink your boat for a second. Where is your faith…really? If you resonate with my feelings of anger and expletives in your storm then you probably have more faith in the oars on your boat than you do Jesus (in your boat).
Oars or Jesus? Where Is Your Faith?
Every time a storm hits my life I tend to believe all I have are my oars and my family. I forget that Jesus is in my boat, inviting me to rest in Him during the storm, during my personal power loss. I am really trying to lean into this area and grow lately. I am learning that my children are taking notes on how to handle stress by watching how I handle it. And often times, I exemplify the wrong way of dealing with stress.
Much like lighting a candle and conversing when the lights go out, Christ is the flickering light of hope that our hearts need to gather around and converse with when the rain pours. He’s our shelter in the storm, not a ticket to the beach. Though from the story we know He holds the power to end all storms, His desire is often to captain our boat through the waves as a way to deepen our faith in Him. He is our serenity in the midst of chaos.
In those moments when our sense of control bursts at the seams and the floods of “chaos” come pouring in, where will you turn? On whom will you call? Will you grab the oars or His hand? Will you labor, restlessly fighting the waves or will you ride out the storm with Christ in your boat? I ask again for emphasis, “Where is your faith? Really?” Remember, we can all say where our faith is, but life reveals what we believe in when the waves crash against our family.
Know this: if we belong to Christ through faith, He has saved us from the peril of perishing. I am not saying your boat won’t sink. It may indeed flounder with you in it. Through faith in Christ, we have victory over any circumstance (even death) because we are His children; regardless of how life or our circumstances define us. Even if we die in the boat with Jesus, His death on the cross (in our place) rescues us from being victimized or defined by our own.
If you are a Christian, Christ is in your boat; not just now, but forever – come what may.
How can you lead your family to Christ in your boat? In the chaos and business of life, be reminded that you have more than oars. You have a Savior. Our children need to see us face storms with an eternal serenity in Christ. Because the truth of the matter is they will face storms of their own one day – and they’re taking notes from us.
I pray we’d have the faith to sit with Jesus every time the forecast of our lives turns sour.
You’ll find similar thoughts in the Back To School Devotional available for purchase here.