My house is a little crazy right now. Make that insane. On top of our usual busyness, we’ve added moving into the mix. Boxes, paint cans and piles of projects have me spiraling out of my comfort zone. The topping on this crazy happened this week. School’s back! Any hope of controlled chaos just ended. And all the parents say “Amen.”
Worry set in as I thought of the homework, school events, parties, projects, volunteering, and having to feed my kids something other than PB&Js. All of this while we live in a temporary disaster zone. My perfectionism is disagreeable. How would I manage all of it? Could I morph into Wonder Woman overnight? Hardly likely.
Then I was reminded of Jesus.
Jesus was the epitome of busy. In three short years of ministry, He performed more miracles than His disciples could count. He traveled hundreds of miles through barren desert – on foot! He stood before rulers and kings at a moment’s notice – without a nicely prepared speech. He was always being pulled in five different directions at once – loved by thousands and hated by thousands more. If all that weren’t enough, He also carried the knowledge that His life would be short-lived — destined to end on a cross. I would have crumbled. But Jesus was also a picture of perfect peace.
How did Jesus do it? Can we have that same peace in our chaotic and stressful lives?
I believe the answer is YES!
I believe if we look at how Jesus responded to the storms of life, we can find this same peace ~ or pretty darned close!
JESUS KNEW HIS PLACE: Luke 2 tells the story of when the young 12-year-old Jesus was accidentally left behind in Jerusalem. He and His family had traveled into the city to celebrate Passover. In the crowded and hectic atmosphere, His parents left to return home and didn’t realize Jesus wasn’t with them. Can you imagine the worry! Mary and Joseph raced back to find their lost son. What they found, however, was a boy resting in the peace and safety of His Father’s house. Jesus wasn’t afraid. He knew His place was with God and that gave Him peace that transcended any worry. Now, I’m not suggesting we drop our kids off in strange cities and tell them to trust God for their safe return. By no means! That’s testing God unnecessarily, which even Jesus knew not to do. What I am saying is when we are going through worry and confusion, we can find rest with our Father. He is our comfort – our fortress – our protection. And He will help us!
JESUS KNEW HIS PLAN: John 2:1-11 shares another interesting exchange between Jesus and his mother. Jesus had just begun His public ministry, but hadn’t performed any miracles yet. He and his disciples were at a local wedding, and Mary was there too. The passage says that when the wine ran out, Mary became anxious and saw it as an opportunity for her son to demonstrate His power. Having enough wine at a wedding in those days was a sign of respect and dignity. But Jesus knew it was not God’s plan for Him to publicly reveal his power yet. When Mary asked Him to do something to fix the situation (i.e. miracle us out of this mess), Jesus responded, “Woman – why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come” (vs. 4). Mary was not offended by Jesus’ words. She understood what they meant. Jesus rested in His Father’s timing.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Jesus did turn the water into wine – but only revealed the miracle to his disciples and a few servants. The public miracles would come ~ but not that night. We shouldn’t rush God’s plan.
JESUS KNEW HIS PURPOSE: Jesus was perfectly compassionate and loved more deeply than we could fathom. But he wasn’t distracted from His purpose by raw emotions. Jesus was led by purpose. In John 11, Jesus learns his dear friend Lazarus is very sick – possibly dying. Lazarus’ sisters sent word to Jesus, pleading for him to hurry back and save their brother. Imagine if your loved one was sick and his best friend was the Savior of the world! Talk about high hopes! But to their dismay, Jesus didn’t rush back. As difficult as it may have been, Jesus rested in God’s purpose. With full confidence, Jesus simply said “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (vs. 4). His words probably didn’t comfort Lazarus’ family as they watched him die, wrapped his body in burial clothes, and lay him in a tomb. Jesus was not being flippant about the gravity of the situation. Nor was He uncaring when He chose not to rush to Lazarus’ side. In fact, verse 33 says when Jesus returned to Lazarus’ home and heard his family and friends weeping, “He was deeply moved and troubled in spirit” and also wept. Jesus understands and shares in our worries and grief. He simply didn’t allow an emotional rollercoaster to sway Him away from God’s purpose. Jesus revealed that purpose to Lazarus’ sister, Martha, just before resurrecting Lazarus from the grave:
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26.
By raising Lazarus to life after so many had witnessed his death and burial, Jesus left little doubt that He had the power to raise the dead at any time. And He revealed something even more spectacular. Whoever believes in Him will never die! What a perfectly purposeful miracle! Trust in God’s purpose and timing!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
JESUS KNEW HIS PRAYER: I’ve been doing a week-long “Morning Challenge” this week, organized by my friend and fellow blogger Keri Mosier. The challenge focuses on the benefits of rising early and devoting time to prayer and fellowship with God. Jesus knew the importance of both.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” Mark 1:35
I am not an early riser, but I’m learning the importance of it! I’ve seen sunrises I would have otherwise missed. I’ve had precious moments of alone time – which to any busy mom are like diamonds! And I’ve set my first thoughts on God – which puts the entire day into perspective.
These four examples set for us by Jesus have helped me this week ~ and I pray they will help you, too.
Trust in Him when life is crazy and uncertain.
Rest in His plan when your thoughts are anxious.
Have faith in His timing and purpose for all things.
Be devoted to prayer and setting your first thoughts on Him.