“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis
Chaos is complete disorder and confusion
Hoarders is a TV show depicting people whose lives are defined by chaos. Their homes are chaotic from the clutter and garbage. Some people do not face hoarding, but they face other situations chaos in their lives. The chaos divorce brings when a custody battle rages over a child. The chaos alcoholism invites to rip apart relationships. The chaos of political battles, war, diseases, addictions, and other things. It is all around us. We worry about how chaos will affect our lives and those we love. It seems like there is no escape from it. Chaos seems to create the path we are to walk.
Where does Chaos come from?
Because of the Fall of Man (Genesis 3), sin has entered the world and all are affected by it (Romans 5:12). Think about divorce. Why does divorce cause so much chaos? Because divorce is bred out of the effects of sin. Why can having a child out of a married relationship cause so much chaos? Because of sin. How can an addiction cause so much chaos for an individual? Because of sin
Chaos is a result of sin. It affects us internally and externally. Think about Hoarders it clearly depicts the external effects of chaos. Internally chaos tortures our minds and puts worry, suspicion, and other thoughts that can lead to an addiction to soothe those thoughts. Yet, that addiction causes more chaos. Our choices create chaos. Think of a situation you handled in a wrong manner or did something you knew was sinful, what happened? Chaos. It plagued your mind and probably affected others.
The Origin of Order
Yet, when we see a chaotic space, for example a messy house, we are repulsed and we want to see it organized. It is because we do not like chaos. We find chaos repulsive and there is an instinct in us where we need to fix it.
This instinct for order comes from God. Genesis 1 tells us that God created the world and brought order out of chaos. He is the author of order. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. This peace is not the same as hippies smoking a joint and being cool with everything and ignoring issues. No! God is a God of peace in that he brings order. He brings structure. He is the complete opposite chaos. God does not want his world which he gave to us to be a chaotic mess because of sin. He steps in.
The Incarnation Meets Chaos
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
God takes on a human body. He dwells (or makes his living) among us. He doesn’t just look over humanity. No, he joins us. Jesus is the incarnate God. He lives among our chaos, and meets it head on.
In Mark 5, Jesus heads to the region known as Gerasenes. A man, possessed by demons, meets Jesus. This man’s life is riddled with chaos. Internally and externally the chaos is felt by him and the people around him. They have to chain him and put him in a cemetery. The man cuts himself with rocks. Chaos rules his life. But, in verse 15, Jesus heals the man and the people of the area see him sitting in his right mind. The chaos was gone.
In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. She has to come at noon, in the heat of the day, to draw water because of the chaos in her life. Her actions had created a social chaos for her life. She did not have a husband, and yet was living with a man. Her choices created her chaos. Yet, Jesus brings to her the Living Water which douses the fires of chaos.
God took on flesh to conquer, not only sin, but the consequence of sin: chaos.
But, That is Not the End of the Story…
Usually, our telling of these two Bible stories ends with them being healed and restored by Jesus and that’s it. But, there is more.
In each of these accounts, Jesus not only heal and restores them, but gives them something. The man from Gerasenes and the Woman at the Well are given a new path. Instead of a path that looks like chaos, Jesus gives them a path of peace in a chaotic world. He gives them a peaceful purpose: “Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you.”
They each still had to deal with the chaos of the world, but their chaos was gone. Jesus replaced it with a purpose: recount the works of God. When we remember the works of God and recount them, we see the peace of God giving us understanding. We begin to see things from God’s point of view.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
Trying to control our own chaos only brings more internal chaos. God invites us to let him bring peace into our lives. When he does, he gives us a new purpose. This purpose allows us to walk a journey through the chaos of the world surrounded by the peace of God when we are focused on him.
Are things going to be calm and tranquil? No. God does not promise that. Instead, he promises internal peace that helps us understand to look at life from God’s perspective.
Paul, the apostle, experienced this. His life was far from calm and tranquil. He was whipped, imprisoned, beaten, stoned, abandoned, and shipwrecked. Yet, in Philippians 4:11, he says I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.
Chaos surrounded him, yet Paul was able to be content and find God’s peace to correct his thinking. God took on flesh, not only to save us, but to bring order to our chaos and out of our chaos give us a purpose. It may feel like a maze at times, but we have someone guiding us each step of the way.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.– 2 Corinthians 5:7