Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. (John 14:27)
When the chaos in the world around us is heaviest, the light of Christ shines brightest . . . if we will but look in His direction.
Think about the chaos at the wedding reception that took place at Cana in Galilee when they ran out of wine. Jesus and His disciples were invited guests, and when His mother realized that there was no more wine, she went to Jesus for help. In the ancient world, wedding receptions were week-long events; often the entire town would be invited to attend and celebrate the couple’s new life together. To run out of wine at one of these events was not only an embarrassment, it also broke the unwritten rule of hospitality. Imagine the chaotic concern that was beginning to spread: “They have no more wine!” Then the light of Christ shone brightly as He turned mere water into wine — and not just wine, but the best wine they had ever tasted.
Think about the chaos on the hillside where Jesus fed the 5,000. Scholars estimate that, due to the fact that only the men were counted and recorded for such an event in the ancient world, it is likely there were anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 men, women, and children who had gathered to hear the Lord teach. The disciples came to Jesus, saying that the hour was late, the people were hungry, and that He should send them away to go get food. Parents were probably beginning to anxiously wonder how they would feed their children that night. Then the light of Christ shone brightly as He multiplied five loaves and two small fish to feed the massive crowd — and there were plenty of leftovers after every one had eaten their fill.
Think about the chaos in the region of the Gerasenes, when a man with an evil spirit came running from the tombs to confront Jesus, a man so wildly powerful that no one could bind him, even with chains. Night and day this demon-possessed man would cry out among the tombs and cut himself with stones. Then the light of Christ shone brightly as He cured the man and sent the legion of demons out of the man and into a herd of nearby pigs (another chaotic scene, to be sure!), who then ran over a cliff and drowned in the sea.
What kind of chaotic circumstances are confronting you today? Are storm winds blowing your way? Are waves of challenge crashing over you? Are you simply caught up in the chaotic pace of everyday living in a culture that conditions us to live like the Energizer Bunny, who keeps going and going and going? Remember that Christ is in every circumstance and He is available to carry your chaos . . . IF you will let Him.
No life was filled with more chaos than the life of Jesus. The multitudes came to see Him, hear Him, touch Him, ridicule Him, mock Him, condemn Him, trap Him, follow Him, and be healed by Him. How did Jesus deal with the chaos that surrounded Him?
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Jesus’ example shows us how to rise above the chaos of life: we are to spend time alone with God. When the disciples found Jesus they said, “Everyone is looking for you,” which was no surprise to Jesus; you see, the chaos in His life was ongoing. Our Lord knew He needed to withdraw from the daily pressures and connect with His Father in heaven.
This is the key to conquering the chaos in our lives. We must withdraw into the presence of Christ, especially during our most chaotic circumstances, for He will give us the peace that passes all human understanding. “Peace I leave with you,” our Lord promises us; “my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!