Interrupting Chaos

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Recently, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when one, then two, then 12 thoughts popped into my head.

Before I could even make a mental note, a shout came from the living room — one of my kids had spilled something sticky.

A splash and a sizzle reminded me I was boiling water for pasta. I moved frantically to the stove to move the pot, which resulted in more hot splashing.

Then came a knock at the door. Not now!

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Soon the panic set in like an unwelcome friend — I stopped, frozen in that moment, not because I have tremendous self-control but because I literally couldn’t move. The room blurred, voices fuzzy. I thought I heard my son asking where the rags were, but I didn’t answer, so he used my nice hand towels on the sticky avalanche.

It’s in these moments of chaos that I used to fall apart, and my children would eye each other with a knowing expression. And honestly, I’m still not “out of the woods” when faced with chaos today. But it’s not the falling apart that matters. What matters most is what we do in that brief moment of panic.

First, let’s not allow the enemy to fool us into believing he owns that moment and we have no choice but to listen to him.

We pray.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

I know what you may be thinking … I knew she was going to say that! That’s nothing I haven’t heard a billion, trillion times. 

But I’m not talking about the kind of prayer that begs God for help, then doubts that He’ll show up or that we’re even worthy of Him showing up.

Friends, God has so much more for us than we realize. Especially in our weakest moments that we wish we could erase from everyone’s memories, we are His, and we have access to His power that changes things for real! And it can be accessed with just one word if necessary.

I find God doesn’t discriminate between answering my tidy, peaceful prayers and answering the prayers baptized in drippy, snotty tears, which are sometimes the most real. Isn’t that what we all want — something real? And if so, then doesn’t it stand to reason that God wants our real prayers, too?

My prayer in the midst of my chaotic scene went something like this … God, I feel like I’m falling apart right now, and I can’t stop it! But I know You are bigger than this spiral I’m in, and You are my peace. So make Your peace real to me in this moment. I’m choosing to trust that You will. Amen.

As much as we want Him to, God doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately in our moments of need. But He does promise always to hear our prayers and to answer in His timing, and He asks us to trust Him in the interim. After we reach out to God in our moments of need, we can then choose to trust He’s heard us and will answer.

Let’s not lose heart when life gets messy and we get messy with it. Instead, may our believing prayers usher in His peace.

Dear Lord, I confess I have believed the enemy’s voice over Yours so many times — I’ve believed the false voice that tells me real peace in the midst of my chaos is not possible. But it is possible because You say so. And You’re the giver of peace. Help me to remember this truth in the moments when it matters most. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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