Over the last 7 days, we moved from a rental into an unfinished home. Our move was something out of a comedy with Adam Sandler. 4 guys showed up and literally started pouring contents of drawers into bags and loading a 26′ UHAUL (twice) with stuff in total chaos. By Friday night we were “moved in” which merely meant we had piles and piles of stuff stacked around our new house. But the challenge was that the house wasn’t finished yet… so we spent the last week meeting with contractors, running to Home Depot, sanding wood floors and coating the house and new carpet with dust, back to Home Depot…well you get the point. In the midst of that we discovered a possum was living in our house (yes, living in our house) and we spent the next few days trying to trap the possum before it maimed our wiener dog. Luckily on Tuesday night we caught the possum- a stirring success meant for another post. During the week in the chaos of the house, I lost my keys for the first time in probably 15 years. I borrowed a friend’s mower only to run over a rock and have to take it into the repair shop where it is now getting fixed. And all the while, I was doing a very poor job continuing to run the church, run a business, run my family, or even run my life. I was too busy, too stressed out, and too distracted to spend time in prayer or with the Lord. Heck, for a good 4 days I couldn’t even find my bible. How do I quiet down with God? I’ve got too many problems to deal with!?!?!
And then in the hurricane of the week, my wife texts me this reminder from Matthew:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
In my week of failure on almost every front, I had failed to draw near the source of comfort and strength that I most want to cling to: GOD. And then for a moment I started feeling even worse because not only had I done a poor job in every facet of my life, but I’d also been a bad Christian all week! But before the despair can even take root, before my self-loathing and self-deception pulls me even further from the God who loves me, I get this word from the Lord: “Be quiet. And be near me.” So I grab my coffee and despite the literal piles of stuff to do all around me, I spend some time with the Lord. I read in Ezekiel. I read in Matthew. I read a Psalm. I pray. “Lord, your strength today…I need you Lord.” And I pray. Often times praying is simply asking God for help. Yesterday morning, my prayer was for God to help me gain His peace again.
After some time with the Lord, I step back into my life again. And though piles of work still exist, though my week was still brutal and my fatigue and frustration are high, I now have perspective on things. “We’ll get through this.” God is still in control, a house is just a place to live. A mess is just a way of asking for help from others. A project incomplete is just a little more work ahead. A deadline passed is just an opportunity to ask for grace and resubmit. The work will get done. All will be well. God needs me to keep my eyes on Him so that I can still be His light, even on my darkest days. And though I fail time and time again, I’m grateful for small reminders and days like yesterday to pull me back.
In the midst of your chaos and your storms and your busyness, may you take some time to call out for “Help” to the God who made you. He’s waiting to hear from you.