Does it seem that the level of chaos in your everyday life is continually increasing? I generally thrive on managing multiple challenges simultaneously; that kind of over-stimulation has typically been an odd kind of pleasure for me. For that reason,after taking 24 hours of courses my last semester in college, life with five children and all their friends did not seem abnormal. I simply changed my focus from academics and student activities to managing a tribe of hungry, active young people. During their teenage years, It was nothing for me to bake 72 cinnamon rolls, only to have them vanish in 24 hours. One week I baked 32 dozen cookies for the troops that lumbered through our house; of course,, that doesn’t count the dauntingly huge piles of laundry, meal preparation, or chauffeur service. I thought life could not possibly get better or busier, and I somehow survived .on very little sleep and an overcharged supply of adrenaline. Yet, in the midst of the maelstrom, although I managed it fairly well, I was aware of something invisible trying to swallow me alive. Often, I felt consumed.
Years later, I listen to parents whose lives are at least as chaotic as mine was, complete with overly packed schedules and the demands of all manner of activities that, at least when I was a child, should rightly only require a couple of hours per week of our time as a family. DAILY basketball or football or band practice that lasts two or three hours for a junior high student? Really? It appears the frenzy continues to escalate.
I must also admit that my own life is even more complicated now than it was when I was a stay-at-home mom. Although I am uncertain how it happened, and I honestly HAVE learned to say “No,” the activities in which I have prayerfully and soberly engaged myself have mysteriously expanded in scope and depth. I do not even work outside the home, but I barely find time to catch my breath. It takes an impressive amount of juggling just to stay on top of the schedule, and I have found I am not alone. Most of my friends and colleagues in ministry are equally consumed. Even though I love what I do (what a blessing!), I cannot seem to rein it all in. There seems to be a whirlwind that consistently increases in speed and volume and threatens to engulf me, pick me up, and eject me somewhere in the vast unknown.
Recently, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about resting in the eye of the storm and allowing Jesus to transform the tornado of life into a holy vortex — a place where I press into His Presence and choose to be at peace despite the storms raging around me. I have a choice. I can either allow myself to be caught up with the whirling dervishes of circumstances and be flung around by the enemy of my soul and the crazy chaos of life, only to be flung out somewhere in a wilderness of despair, or I can focus on listening to His voice and press my ear close to His chest to hear His heartbeat. There is stillness in the eye of the storm. If I press into Jesus rather than allowing my circumstances to wreak havoc with my emotions, He will hold me close and transform the storm into a holy vortex, a place of His Presence. He will use the storms the enemy has generated to bring me into an understanding of His perspective and purpose; He can even use those whirlwinds to accomplish His will and build His character in me.
Lord, help me to lean hard into You and hear Your voice in the eye of the storm! Empower me to take my position in the place of rest with You, the Master of every whirlwind. Transform the storms of my life into a holy vortex with You!