Recently I had some 20-year-old carpeting and laminate flooring hauled away. We had it replaced with new carpeting and flooring. The house had been a rental, and who knows what had gotten on those floors over the years. It becomes quite a project when you are living in the home at the time. First, we had to remove all the things from the areas that needed flooring. Furniture, tables, knick-knacks and everything else was piled into our living room. Later, we did the same when the carpeting was put in. Everything had to be moved to the kitchen, other rooms, and even outside. There is a certain amount of discomfort not being able to move about your home in a usual way. Some doors were blocked, things we needed became unavailable, and there were also strangers in the house putting in the flooring. There is also a bit of fear. We hope we made the right choices and that there are no mistakes.
We as Christians know God has a sunny future for us in His Kingdom. Whatever the circumstance, if we are faithful and follow His way, we have that promise.
While in the midst of the chaos I thought about how it related to our Christian lives. We generally go about our days in a comfortable way. We are accustomed to how things are, even if we are not necessarily happy with every aspect of them. Then something happens that disrupts everything. Maybe it’s an illness, accident or job issues. Maybe there is a tragedy that upsets the entire household like a fire, death or natural disaster. Sometimes it’s as simple as being overbooked or some other stressful situation. These things can create chaos for us either emotionally or physically. We hope they are temporary, but that’s not always the case. In such times, we need to turn to God in prayer. He is our refuge when we feel things are out of control (Psalms 46:1-3 Psalms 46:1-3 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
American King James Version×; Romans 12:12 Romans 12:12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
American King James Version×).
Like the flooring in my house, life can get dirty, worn out, and can make things look miserable. Even when we try to be positive, looking at what is before us can make life seem dreary. So we start out by trying to ignore the problem. Pretending it is not there. We may try to step around it, make excuses or just put on a happy face, but that does not make it go away. The more we try to ignore things the worse they seem to become. The same is true when we spend all our time focusing on the issue before us. We may find we do not cope well when we dwell in that space. Chaos is dirty and makes us feel worn out. Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
American King James Version×reassures us, reminding us that all things work for good for those who love God. There are lessons to be learned, and sometimes it is how to find peace (Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-7 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×).
My flooring had been used and abused by any number of residents and pets. I had no idea how many or what things were done on it. Our situations may also have unknown factors that make it difficult for us. It is often difficult to make adjustments or decisions when we do not have the full story. And like the workers in my home, the foreignness of what is happening in our lives can be intimidating and uncomfortable. We are not sure how to act in this new situation. We can feel overwhelmed by the chaos it can create.
Fear is not uncommon either when we have a lot happening in our lives. We are unsure of what may lie ahead for us, how to fix an issue or, maybe, depending on the situation, how we can face others. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41:10Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
American King James Version×, New International Version). God is there for us not just sometimes, but always. We should remember to lean on Him when everything feels scary and unmanageable (Deuteronomy 31:6 Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
American King James Version×and 1 Peter 5:7 1 Peter 5:7Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.
American King James Version×). Even the hardest of times and trials can be useful to us. We may not see it in the beginning, and the road may be long, but there is a reason and a season for things (Ecclesiastes 3:1 Ecclesiastes 3:1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
American King James Version×). There is hope. God often allows us to go through trials to teach and to test us (1 Peter 4:12 1 Peter 4:12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:
American King James Version×).
When my flooring was complete I sat back and looked at how beautiful it looked. It made me happy to be in the space and made everything else in the room look better. This is much how it is after chaos leaves our lives. We feel brighter and happier and often reflect on how things had been. It is often also a new start. The mess we were living with has been cleared, and there are brighter things ahead. We as Christians know God has a sunny future for us in His Kingdom (Daniel 7:18 Daniel 7:18But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
American King James Version×). Whatever the circumstance, if we are faithful and follow His way, we have that promise.