Chaos. I picture a four-way stop with a two-car collision in the center as other cars fight to force themselves around the collision to be on their merry way. Each driver moving at the speed of light and completely missing the stop signs as sirens are blaring to get through, all the while wondering what in the world is going on around them. The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines this situation as chaos, “a state of utter confusion.”
Haven’t we all been here in some way before? Maybe not in a bumper car style manner. However, maybe you and your spouse have been on complete opposite schedules and each day of separation brings a slow building of impatience or nit-picking. Rather than broaching the subject of irritability between you; each of you chooses to fill the separation you feel with assumptions that may fuel the chaos. The confusion surrounding chaos begins to seep into your work, communication with your children, and your friendships.
Just like the disastrous car crash scene from earlier, in which the cars bypass the stop signs meant for their protection. We, too, can often bypass the signs of external chaos and end up creating a disastrous situation of internal chaos where we begin believing lies about God and our identity in Him.
Isaiah 26:3 declares, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (English Standard Version Bible). But how do we keep our minds and trust surrendered to Him in perfect peace when we are hard-pressed on every side? In quiet before the Lord we can surrender all of our thoughts, feelings, and understandings to Him with an honest heart.
The Cost of Chaos is a helpful tool which leads people through a process to receive clarity and re-calibrates our focus on God’s truth. This tool invites us to name it, feel it, expose it, and know it. Let’s walk through how the process works, then click the image below to download a worksheet and walk through the steps on your own.
1. Name It
What is the chaos you are experiencing? We know the definition of chaos is a state of utter confusion. What within you or surrounding you feels confusing? Maybe it is a relationship, the way a conversation should have gone but didn’t, your job, or an overly busy schedule.
2. Feel It
How is your chaos presenting itself? When we are confused, we often use past experiences and understandings to draw conclusions about a current circumstance in order to find relief in the discomfort of the unknown. This is known as filling the gap. How is your understanding of the experience revealing itself through your behaviors or feelings? It may reveal itself as feeling unloved, rejected, shame, anxiety, anger, or a behavior such as outburst of reactive tears.
3. Expose It
When you name what you are experiencing and identify the feelings attached to it you will see clearly the cost of what you are believing not just about the situation or yourself, but also about God. When we walk away from a conversation disappointed and recognize that over time we continue to feel unsettled over words spoken, we may begin to feel misunderstood. Feeling misunderstood often births shame, anxiety, or maybe even feelings of rejection. We can quickly lose the peace of the Lord if we allow ourselves to receive these lies that are tied to being misunderstood. We quickly forget that we can trust in His understanding which brings peace; believing the lie that God is not really a God of Peace.
4. Know It
Once the lie is exposed we can quickly speak the truth of God’s word over the lie we have found ourselves believing. This breaks any agreement we may have made with the enemy that we, “are just easily misunderstood because no one cares enough to try to understand us.” Do you see the lies of rejection and shame? We can know that God is all knowing and He calls us chosen sons and daughters (1 John 3:20, Ephesians 1:4, English Standard Version Bible).
Chaos does not belong to us as sons and daughters of the King. He is a God of understanding, peace, and unity, so we can stand in victory as He has sealed His Spirit in our hearts! When something disrupts the peace in your day, when you feel confused and chaos draws near, take a pause to name it, feel it, expose it, and know it!