Guest post by Tim Wadsworth
I can’t stand the mall. It’s the worst. There are only two times I can justify going and that’s to take the kids to see Santa or the occasional Apple store visits. But here’s the problem – My Wife and kids love the mall. Judah loses his mind at ‘Build A Bear’, can eat his weight in sugar at Great American Cookie and spends hours in the germ-filled playground right smack in the middle of the place. Levi gets adored on by every old person speed walking in their white new balance sneakers and gets his stroller food tray doused in puffs. Moral of the story – I don’t stand a chance.
This last week, my 2009 iMac desktop blew a backlight in the screen which made it into a fancy paperweight. I scheduled a Genius Bar appointment at The Apple Store and appropriately brought the family with me. While we were waiting for the computer to get worked on, Judah begged to go party at the playground. Shocker, right. Rachael and Levi went to Great American Cookie and I took Judah to pass the time. While we we’re getting close, you could see the playground crawling with toddlers and surrounded by parents glued to their gadgets. I looked down at my son and his eyes were filled with reserved excitement. Once he entered, you could quickly see that excitement turning into caution. He’s obviously not a rookie at this and been many times before but not with this many kids playing at the same time with this level of noise. He took his Bert & Ernie book in with him and started to test out the waters.
While I was watching him play, interact with others and wait in line for the slide, God was really kind to teach/remind me of three incredible truths about Himself. The last three years of being an earthly father has been such an intimate time between me and my Spiritual Father. Such an incredible thing to know that God loves Judah more than I ever could. If I, a sinful person, knows how to give good gifts to my son, how much MORE does God know how to care for Judah.
Here are three things to remember in the midst of chaos.
1) I Could Hear Judah’s Voice Through The Chaos.
Do you ever feel like God doesn’t hear your voice through the heaviness of life?
Even though the playground was so loud and chaotic, I could still pick out which one was Judah’s voice when he cried out. I knew it so well. And when he called out, It was my delight to listen to him. It wasn’t an inconvenience or something I discouraged in him to do with me. I stopped what I was doing immediately to listen to my son.
Psalm 18:6 says “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”
It’s so good and refreshing to remember that God hears you. He’s never inconvenienced to listen to you. It’s not a bother to him. He never thinks your cry is petty or insignificant.
Here’s what’s incredible – God doesn’t just hear you but He understands you.
Maybe you’ve swallowed the lie that God doesn’t care about you or hear you. Maybe you feel all alone and abandoned but be reminded today that God see’s you exactly where you are. His Word says that He will hear your voice and your cry will reach his ears.
2) Judah Was Overwhelmed But I Was Not.
What do you turn to when you are overwhelmed, discouraged or full of panic? Nothing that I saw taking place in Judah’s life took me by surprised or left me speechless. The biggest mistake people make when we’re overwhelmed is focusing on the problem. We don’t look to God. We put our eyes on the problem instead of God.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In our chaos, we can rest in knowing that God is peace. Peace is not the absence of chaos but peace is knowing who JESUS is in the midst of chaos.
Don’t be fooled that just because you’re in a season of “chaos” that The Prince of Peace is not standing in the gap. Sit in the presence of the Lord and ask him what He’s trying to teach you in your overwhelmedness. Instead of asking God to take away the confusion, ask him to show His Sovereign hand at work.
3) I Was Fully In Control
Judah’s book was in the hands of another kid. He came running up to me because he didn’t like another kid looking at it. I kneeled down to look Judah in this eyes and said “It’s okay, buddy… let him have a turn” – If looks could kill, Judah would have been daddy-less. But here’s the thing – I needed Judah to trust what I was saying was trustworthy even though he didn’t like it or understand it. I would never do anything to harm my son. I wasn’t letting the other kid look at his book because I wanted Judah to be miserable. As a Father, I was showing my son how to share, die to self and be generous.
Much of the Christian life is spent trusting Jesus now and understanding Him later.
So many times I want to immediately understand what is going on in my life in order to trust God with everything. This is so hard for me when I take my eyes off of who God really is. He is a Father that only GIVES good gifts. All things work accordingly to those that love Him. But so many times I forget. I forget that God is fully on His throne that orchestrates everything perfectly. Maybe you feel like your life is out of control and full of chaos but rest assure that God is working in your waiting.
God is working in the chaos.