Encouragement for Today - May 4, 2006
Encouragement for Today
(Principles #1 & 4)
“Cloud of Chaos”
Teresa Gregory, Graduate of She Speaks Conference
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (NAS)
My hands gripped the steering wheel as I pulled up to the stop light. I sat silently driving my husband to the airport, but the car was anything but quiet. Behind me wiggled three small kids aptly strapped into their car seats. The crescendo in the car had reached a peak and while I am often able to turn a deaf ear to it all, my limit had been reached. Noticing my disturbed countenance, my husband inquired if I was feeling okay.
“No!” I replied. “Actually I feel like running, screaming from this car!” It took every bit of willpower I had to continue toward the airport, sending my husband off on his business trip. I considered making a break for the plane myself. Oh the joys of motherhood – but today I felt I had to dig deep to find them. Like the cloud of dirt that encircles Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon, my children created a cloud of chaos everywhere they went; and I was always in the middle of it. Serving my family was taking its toll on me.
“How am I to discover peace in the midst of such a storm?” I questioned. Obviously, the answer is not to run screaming from my challenges. I found in John 16:33 Jesus told us, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” I had been trying to use my own power to sustain me through the chaotic moments. Jesus freely offers the only source of lasting peace.
In order to ensure I remain “in Christ,” I realized that I must pursue time with Christ through prayer and study of God’s Word. I thought it impossible to steal away time alone or create a sanctuary for seeking God with all the demands on my time. Yet I resolved myself to do just that.
My quiet time began slowly. Fifteen minutes before the kids were up or twenty minutes during naptime; whenever I could find a moment to open my Bible I seized the opportunity. Many times I pushed on with no signs of change. Eventually fruit did come. My meeting time with Jesus started paying off in snippets of peace.
How about you? Do you feel as though you live in the midst of a storm at times? Is peace a rare commodity during your day? Let me encourage you to seek more of the only person able to penetrate our pandemonium. As you endeavor to M.E.E.T Jesus in the midst of your “cloud of chaos,” use the following steps to propel you forward.
M. Make time to seek Jesus daily no matter what life throws your way. If you miss a day, get back in the habit before it turns into a week, a month, etc.
E. Ease into a routine. Start with a small morning quiet time, reading a devotional and a short time prayer.
E. Expect more from yourself. Once you have begun a small routine,
start setting higher goals for yourself. Always keep moving forward.
T. Teachable. Always be ready to learn. Pray for a mentor to teach you how to study the Bible or take a class at church. Read a book on prayer or join a Bible study group.
I wish I could say that the cloud of chaos in my life has dissipated. Even as I grow more consistent in my study of Scripture and time in prayer, the cloud keeps circling. Prayer doesn’t make homework go away. Regular quiet time could not cease the seemly endless pull on my time that three small children require. Rather, I continue to discover that Jesus meets me in the midst of my “cloud of chaos” and teaches me He is the source of peace no matter what whirls about in my day-to-day life.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I feel like I live in the middle of a cloud of chaos at times. I long to have the peace that Christ gives in the midst of my storms. Help me to spend time seeking You first and trusting You to meet me there. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Write down your plan to meet Jesus. When will your quiet time be? How much time can you allot to spend? Be sure to set a reasonable expectation. Wherever you are now, set your goal just a little higher.
Join a Bible study or get a new book on prayer – Check out “A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer” by Cheri Fuller, below.
Ask God to bring you a mentor then be on the look out for His answer.
How have you been responding to the cloud of chaos in your own life?
How consistent are you in your quiet time with God?
Consider what you do during your quiet time. Is it alive, fresh and new? Do you look forward to it each morning or has it to become a box you check off as “done” for the day.
Would you consider yourself teachable? Why or Why not?
Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (NASB)
John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (NASB)
Mark , “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. (NASB)
A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer, by Cheri Fuller
Breathe, by Keri Wyatt Kent
Running on Empty, by Arron Chambers