My life feels busy—sometimes crazy busy. While homeschooling five kids who are in various activities, it feels like a lot of juggling to make it all work. And although I aspire to have a clean and organized home, the reality is that I am so not there. I can even feel the chaos creeping in—a few more dirty dishes in the sink, a few more books piled on the counter, a few more puzzle pieces left out. Then, if I’m not careful, it’s full on crazy-town house, where there is crusted play dough on the carpet, piles of dirty clothes, and don’t even ask about the kitchen. What happened? Why is it so chaotic? Because kids? Because I’m a bad house keeper? Because my hubby doesn’t pick up the slack?
It’s not really any of that. It’s that my surroundings begin to dictate my feelings, and I have let the chaos in. It enters through my perception of my circumstances. Because the truth really is that even if I had a perfect system and was on top of my schedule and my house was perfectly clean and my kids were actually tiny self-cleaning robots, these things would not guarantee my sanity—and I would not automatically have peace. Because there would always be something else. Because the enemy doesn’t play fair, and even if I had the best hand, he’d throw in the ace he’s hidden up his sleeve. He cheats by whispering: You aren’t good enough. You haven’t cleaned up enough. You are failing miserably, and it is your fault. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Because it’s not an equation. Because a clean house doesn’t equal success whereas a messy house equals failure. Because there are seven of us and we are all still learning how to live together. Because we all need grace Every. Single. Day. Grace says, I refuse to judge you for your sticky floor because I see your heart and know that making pancakes with your toddler says love so much more than a freshly mopped floor. Grace says, yes the space is cluttered but let’s work on this together as a team—without blaming or casting judgment on the sloppiest child (who also may be the most creative). Grace says, in the midst of the chaos—the whirling storm of judgment beating down on your soul—choose peace.
In the gospels, there is an account of Jesus calming a literal storm. Jesus was with his disciples late one night on a boat, and a “furious” storm broke out, where waves were actually crashing into the boat. The storm was so terrible that the disciples thought they were going to die. And in the middle of this awful storm, Jesus was sound asleep. He was at complete peace in the middle of complete chaos. The chaos was around but it was not within. “The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:38-39)
I am reminded of Jesus on that boat when I think about my daily struggles. When I choose to reject those critical voices within, the storm calms and there is peace. Because there will be seasons that things don’t look perfect on the outside. There will be sticky counters and messy projects and piles of laundry. And so the storms will rage. But looking past the outward, going deep within—that is the place to find rest. And this is a reminder to me, to choose peace in the middle of my mess.
I’ve struggled to find a topic lately to write on. My heart has been focused on a couple areas, the need for the church to have the Holy Spirit, a third Great Awakening, or the view that free speech applies to everyone else but those who go against cultural norms. Couple that with the season I’ve been going through lately and I have a lot to talk about and a limited platform on which to discuss it. As I have prayed, and even now continue to pray on what to write, I realize, we are as a church and nation, hurting for revival.
What do I mean by that you may ask?
Let’s look at the most recent and controversial event the church (as an organization) has created, The Nashville Statement. The Nashville Statement is in short a manifesto of what the Church (as the body) stands for in accordance with God’s will, pertaining to same-sex marriage, and the roles of men and women. For further information, I’ve provided the link below. This statement (which for the record I agree with), has been met with so much opposition, and none more so than from other Christians. Why? Because, from my observation, we have lost sight of Christ, we lack discernment, and we do not immerse ourselves in the presence of God. In short, we’ve told the Holy Spirit, thanks, but we no longer need you. I’m reminded of what 1 Timothy 4:1 says, “But the Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach.”
Now, this is not every Christian’s belief, but it is enough that we see a tide turning. I know I made a bold statement, but it is very true if you look closely. We are hurting for revival. We are hurting for the Spirit of the Lord to come through and clean His church. The late Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill said this, “America, doesn’t need God, the church needs God. If the church got God, America would soon feel it.” He passed away in 1994, but his words are truer today than they were at the time he spoke them. One thing is true, The Nashville Statement, exposed the hearts of a lot of Christians across the nation. We need to choose a side, and we need for God’s spirit to ring true. However, these are just the thoughts of one man…so I ask you…what do you think?
The Nashville Statement: https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/