A car crash. A head injury. A near broken toe. A long to-do list. An unexpected blessing. A teaching on worship. What do these all have in common? Well, they were all a part of a journey that God took me on to find where true rest lay.
In the midst of the chaos, I was determined to find peace and rest.
For the last few weeks, I have been constantly bombarded by things. We have all gone through seasons where almost nothing seems to be going the way you anticipated. This last month was exactly that for me. My first year as a School of Biblical Studies teacher was not ending the way I had anticipated. Instead of a season of great joy, it was full of anxiety and chaos. The list of things going wrong seemed endless; but in the midst of the chaos, I was determined to find peace and rest.
In a happy turn of events, I was teaching the books of Haggai and Malachi. The message in both of these books was to the post-exilic Jewish community in the midst of their disappointment. They had returned to the Promised Land after exile and nothing was going as they had planned. Through my study of this book, God started to reveal to me the necessity of worship in the midst of disappointment and unmet expectations. Unlike the people in Haggai and Malachi, I wanted to respond in worship instead of apathy. I wanted to seek the Lord first instead of later.
In both the good and the bad, I’ve come to realize that worship and prayer are the only responses necessary!
In worship, I would truly find the rest I was seeking because I was seeking the only One who could give me true rest! When I determined to put God first before everything else, only then was I able to cast aside my disappointment and find rest in the chaos. I started a journey of intentionally seeking God in worship and in prayer. In times of overwhelming stress, I would stop and pray instead of letting the to-do list cloud my vision and rob me of my peace. In times of great joy, I would still turn to God in prayer and thank Him for the immense blessings He had given me. In both the good and the bad, I’ve come to realize that worship and prayer are the only responses necessary!
I stood in awe of God instead of in fear of chaos.
Worship and prayer truly allowed me to get a perspective change. Instead of letting circumstances blind me, I was able to rise above the situation and look into the eyes of my God who never changes. I put my trust in His faithfulness instead of living in the fear and chaos of my situations. I held firm to the promises that were unwavering. As I began to rely on the only One who offers true rest and peace, I forgot all about my unmet expectations and disappointments. None of it mattered in light of the Glory of God. I stood in awe of God instead of in fear of chaos. He spoke peace to my soul and made me whole. Although the chaos around me still raged, I was able to stand firm on the foundation of trust and worship in my Almighty God.
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name.”