VIEWS FROM THE CATBIRD SEAT
Confidence in the Midst of CHAOS
by Alvin C. Romer
What is chaos to you, and how do you deal with it? I’m sure we all have our own definition of chaos. ‘Chaos’ can be defined as a state of complete disorder and confusion. It’s a time when there’s no direction to good intent. I’m sure you can find something in your daily lives that may constitute things in complete disorder, or in a confused state. Maybe your work environment qualifies as chaotic, or perhaps not attaining certain goals in life would more accurately define chaos for you. Whatever your definition, I’d like to give you another aspect of chaos, and perhaps change perspectives on the word ‘chaos.’
Recently and over a period of time, I’ve seen and have experienced my own level of chaotic living. I think the whole gist of it all is being able to address the problems that have beset me, and not allow it to hang over my family. The purpose is to go about life with even temperament and have temperance to rule against undisciplined choices. The strength of any man (or woman) is being able to balance the issues, discuss it reverently and confidentially with others, and exacting a sense of rationality. This essay can be used to give insight on keeping confident, even in the midst of chaos.
Over the last six years I’ve experienced several things that fit the scenarios above — my decision to change my lifestyle and familial responsibilities that didn’t seem to pan out. I’ve seen situations that didn’t have the right ingredients for success just pass me by’the ebb and flow of instability reared its ugly head leaving me second-guessing my gut feelings. I watched someone close to me go through emotional issues and having to go under medication, and I constantly see other people deal with problems in their midst that didn’t bode well with me or them. However ‘ in the midst of all of these things the Lord challenged me to look at chaos from a new perspective.
You may be asking yourself what is Christ’s hope, and why should that be important to you? From what I have experienced, I can tell you that changing my perspective on the word chaos gave me the strength and focus to experience the peace, presence, preparation and power of a spiritual nature like never before. Instead of whining and complaining about my circumstances. I looked to my mother and saw how she dealt with chaos. I opened my Bible and studied, discovering in the process five character traits where confidence in the midst of chaos can be brought out according to God’s will. I saw my mother, a confident woman experiencing chaos based on her intuitive spirit. You see, I can always go to Mom for things like this, for she was the first to admonish me to keep my head to the sky! I found out that:
(1) Her foundation is based on God’s Word.
(2) She applies God’s Word in her life daily.
(3) She bears and shares her fruit.
(4) She waits patiently.
(5) She lives her life with purpose.
Having a sound foundation, reading the word, experiencing life through sharing, waiting patiently for perseverance to run its course, and having sense of purpose to get through all of the above. These are the five character traits I liken to dealing with chaos. But the key is to put them into practice. As such, I’m able to see beyond the present suffering to view the bigger picture. That bigger picture in this life is not about you and I, but about Christ living in us. This is to the extent that others will see the reflection of Him as we walk through times of triumph as well as times of suffering. Since Christ is in the midst of our suffering, He makes it possible for us to walk through any circumstance with confidence — confidence that everything He brings into our lives are for our good and His glory. I have the confidence that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Okay, so you’ve heard all of this before, but are the application steps in place for works to be much more than lip service? Personally, I’ve purposed in my mind to have the confidence that nothing can ever separate me from the love of Christ, but it took time. I had to work at building my base. I didn’t always read the word, and surely talking to others and sharing was non-existent. Patience wasn’t part of my makeup, and at times it STILL isn’t! But when I endeavored to give some thought of a solid set of principles that my purpose was defined for me.
I hope that harnessing chaos is part of your mantra to make your election and calling as sure as you feel it should be. With this confidence you too, can and should walk through all the suffering you may be going through while bearing spiritual fruit. But how willing are you to go out on that limb? A confident life in the midst of suffering will not go unnoticed. Others will undoubtedly ask about the source of your confidence, and what a perfect opportunity to share the goodness of the One who enables you to bear much fruit! God wants to transform our lives into a reflection of Him so that we can impact the people in our lives for His eternal purposes; and sometimes God chooses suffering and obstacles thrown in our midst to accomplish that purpose. Committing yourself and developing character traits are part of the process.
I finally found favor in my life when I asked Him to give me opportunities to show others that confidence even in times of trouble can bear spiritual fruit in your life. Share it with someone else who may be suffering, or going through problems in their lives. Ask yourself these pertinent questions: Is the foundation of your life based on God’s Word and are you applying that Word in your life daily? Do you have daily devotion in establishing a rapport with Him for your life to start on the right foot? How can you demonstrate to others that you are a confident man or woman even in times of suffering?
So if your life is in a state of complete disorder and confusion, take a look at chaos from God’s perspective. I implore you to begin to apply the five character traits of a confident person, just as I explained earlier in this correspondence, and then hold onto your dreams! You are about to experience the peace, presence, provision and power of Christ like never before. Applicable steps must be part of your walk. Last but not least, I point to a very poignant and relative scripture: Jeremiah 17:7-8, ‘Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, They are like a tree planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they go right on producing delicious fruit.’ (NIV)