September 16, 2019
Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
The papers fell off the kitchen table and onto the floor. My children were running and playing as they usually do, completely unaware of anything besides the fun they were having. But in that moment, as I watched whatever little work I had accomplished journey to the floor from the breeze my children created, defeat overtook me.
I’d been trying to get sensible words on those pages for hours, and nothing seemed to make sense. I thought the papers’ descent was my sign to just let it all go. Maybe try again another day, or at another time.
Sinking further into the chair and wondering what to do next, I watched my children play. They were in the moment, having the best time, laughing, chasing and simply enjoying one another. They couldn’t care less that the toy box had fallen over, the play dough was stuck to the floor or that the caps were off half of the markers.
But there I sat, feeling stuck in the thick of things, unable to accomplish any of my goals. The laundry, fresh out of the dryer, was waiting to be folded. The pile of dishes in the sink from breakfast needed to be washed. And those fallen pages still needed to have words on them.
How could my children block out everything and maintain so much joy in the middle of what felt like mayhem to me?
From my chair, I began to breathe deeply, whispering my need for God along with heartfelt thanksgiving for His presence in the midst of it all and a request for meaningful words to flow onto those pages.
My tension began to shift. And as only God can do when you slow down, surrender control and embrace the stillness, He revealed my lesson.
The children were focused on having fun, and wherever I decided to place my attention determined what I would experience as well.
What I needed to do was adjust my focus, placing it solely on God and trusting that He had everything under control. Only when I made God the center of my focus did I begin to experience the truth of Isaiah 26:3, which says: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Shifting my attention enabled me to experience His peace, joy and hope even in the midst of the chaos surrounding me.
No matter what’s going on in the world, your home or your life, you can choose to focus your heart and mind on God. When you choose Him above all else, you can experience His perfect peace in every situation.
I thought about how much time I wasted feeling defeated. How by allowing discouragement to take over, I opened the door for other toxic thoughts and emotions to distract me from the blessings right in front of me. God was right there with me all along, patiently waiting for me to choose Him.
He’s always the best option and is delighted when you seek His face. So, no matter how many people, piles and projects need your attention, you can rest knowing peace can be found by simply keeping your mind stayed on God.
Dear God, as my children play, the piles of laundry and dishes await my attention and the deadlines loom, help me keep my mind stayed on You. Perfect peace is found in Your presence, and it’s where I long to be. Continue to guide me in Your truth, no matter what’s going on around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace at all times and in every way [that peace and spiritual well-being that comes to those who walk with Him, regardless of life’s circumstances]. The Lord be with you all.” (AMP)
What would happen if you dedicated the first five minutes of each day to God? With the free First 5 app, you’ll find an accessible Bible study that makes it easy to start each day in God's Word. Meet us in First 5 as we begin our next study, Isaiah, on October 7 — and discover that God really does keep His promises. Get the app!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When do you struggle to find peace in the midst of chaos? How has God helped you reclaim lost time after you’ve decided to trust and focus on Him?
Join the conversation! We’d love to hear your thoughts about how God helps you find peace in the midst of your personal chaos.
© 2019 by Tracie Braylock. All rights reserved.