Recently, I was asked how to remain calm and at peace in times of chaos. The answer isn’t complex, though the journey to that answer most definitely is. The answer is to be at peace. Believe it or not, that is the easy part. The more difficult part is the journey to get there.
It begins, as most journeys do, with a single step. A choice you must make. That choice stems from a single question: Do you trust God?
Often we say we do. Our automatic response is a resounding, “Of course.” Yet we dissolve into worry, into doubt and mostly into fear. We allow that worry, doubt and fear to spawn questions in our minds that plague us. What ifs and buts torture us, claim our thoughts and impact our actions and we discover that rather than walking in “Of course” faith, we crumble under the weight of uncertainty.
The things we worry most about often do not happen. But do we cease worrying? Not always. Oh, on some matters—those that mean little to us mostly—we stand strong against worry, fear and doubt, but on those matters we deem significant, those with serious consequences, we tend to shake and wobble and sometimes fall.
Rather than seeing the value in falling, we focus on having fallen and succumb into being on our knees or flat out on our backs. That is, unless we choose to grasp that the fall is a blessing to us. You see, it isn’t the falling, but the rising after a fall that takes us to the next step on our journey. Does the Bible not tell us that when we are weak, He is strong?
When we fall in weakness, we struggle but stand up. That’s the important part. To struggle and stand. That is our expression of faith. When our knees are knocking and our stomachs are full of knots and we feel as if we’ve done all we can and we just have nothing left and can’t get up one more time, it is then that we look to Him and then that He infuses us with His strength, the strength to rise once again.
We see this truth repeat in our lives over and over, until it dawns on us that if we do our part and we seek help, He will step in. At some point on this journey, we come to understand that this isn’t the only truth being revealed to us. Another extremely important one is also there, and that is this: He is always with us. Always aware of our struggles. Always standing at the ready to guide and direct and help us. In short, we are never in a situation, or experiencing an event in our lives, where He isn’t there, waiting with a plan.
And that is the key to being at peace in spite of chaos. We might not know how things will work out. We might not know when. But we do know we face nothing alone, and that God is aware. He’s always aware.
There’s something else we know. His timing is perfect. His awareness signals that He has already worked out the perfect solution that seemingly has escaped us. We are given a heads up in the Bible:
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us,
who can be against us? — Romans 8:31
Now, we might not like that solution. We might have hoped for a different solution. But if we trust God, we know that His timing and solution is best. We don’t just think it, we know it. And we know that in the end, God wins.
And that is how you remain calm and claim peace when chaos reigns. You lean in, listen to Him, and do as He says. And you do it certain, fearlessly certain, that no matter what happens, no matter what twists and turns the journey takes, how many times you stumble and fall and struggle to rise again, in the end God wins.