When life gets hard, I tend to navigate to one of two extremes. Let’s call them “hyper-busy mode” and “bubble mode.”
In hyper-busy mode I clean my house until it is spotless. Since I can’t control anything else in my life, I attempt control my environment by creating a crumb-free kitchen floor and a shining toilet bowl.
Hey, I never said this method made sense. It’s just my natural response to the storm brewing outside.
Then there’s bubble mode. With this response, I watch marathons of my new favorite shows on Netflix and numb myself to the world. When I see news that breaks through my façade of oblivion on Facebook or the internet, I exit the app and curl up with a book or my new favorite, a cro-dough. (If you have not tried this delectable treat, which is half croissant, half donut, do yourself a favor and run to Martin’s)
Do either of these extremes work? Temporarily, yes. But here’s what I’m learning, slowly and imperfectly.
God does not call me to a safe-zone life. He never promised my walk with him would be pain and trouble free.
When I take the flight response to chaos and refuse to fight for the freedom Christ promised, I get stuck in fear and insecurity. I let my environment dictate my happiness and forget that the source of all joy goes beyond this world, these circumstances and season.
This month, I had to remind myself where my peace comes from. My family is going through a season where the future is uncertain, financial concerns mount, and stress continually threatens to take over.
There have been days where I can relate to the disciples in Matthew 8, when Jesus decides to take a nap during a storm described as being, “furious,” overtaking the boat.
Lord save us! We’re going to drown!
Matthew 8:25 NIV
Yes, men. I feel your frustration. God, what are you doing? Are you asleep? Do you see what’s going on?
And yet, Jesus was completely calm and actually rebukes the men for having so little faith.
“Why are you afraid?” he asks.
I think at this point the disciples must have looked at Jesus in shock and disbelief. I mean, seriously? Who would ask such a question?
Only the one who can calm the storm with one breath.
So the question becomes this. Do I believe God is still in control? Do you?
Faith based on a trouble-free existence isn’t faith. It is worship of “the good life.”
There is no doubt that storms will come. And when they do, we have a choice. We can ignore them or become hyper-busy, as I often do, creating a safety net of our own oblivion and spotless kitchen floors.
Or, we can fix our eyes on the one who remains constant, unwavering and sure in the midst of all uncertainty. Our circumstances may not change, but our outlook can.
We can stay stuck in fear and uncertainty, or take God’s hand on a wild adventure.
*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.
*Linking up with #CoffeeForYourHeart and #LiveFreeThursday.