Today, I was thinking about chaos. Dictionary.com defines “chaos” as a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization. After doing a quick google search, I found that the origin of the word “chaos” comes from the Greek word khaos. (I know, I’m a nerd. Shush.) Khaos means “an abyss; that which gapes wide open; vast and empty”. Hmm…
While I was mulling this over, I happened to be at work (I work in a Christian bookstore) and I was flipping through prints that depict different stories of the Bible. My favourite print is the one below…
I love it. I love the gorgeous colours Tom Dubois uses. I love the rainbow arching across the sky. Most of all, I love the complete and utter chaos. There is a giant lion lounging by Noah’s feet. They are flamingos sitting by monkeys and there is water everywhere! And even though Noah is depicted with a glorious smile on his face and arms opened wide as if all is right with the world again, I bet in his head he’s thinking, “Ohmydang! I’m so happy to be out of the ark, but what now? We are the only people on this drenched planet, that cougar is about to gnaw on that warthog’s bum and we need to start all over again.”
I wonder if the earth felt like a vast and empty abyss.
Staring at that picture reminded me that God never promised that our lives would be peaceful and calm all the time. It makes me think about when the disciples were on a boat in the middle of the sea and Jesus was having a nap. And then a storm picked up and they thought they were doomed to drown in the inky depths. They were physically WITH Jesus, yet chaos still crept into their lives. Despair sunk in. Fear. Doubt. Maybe anger because Jesus was sleeping, seemingly unaware of their dire situation, while the disciples were staring death in the face.
The NIV version of the Gospel of Mark says that the disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
They wake Jesus up. He calms the storm and rebukes his bros for their unbelief.
Chaos is going to show up in our lives. Maybe it will appear slowly. Maybe it will drop out of the sky like rain and leave us feeling like Noah, drenched and confused. Maybe we will look inside ourselves and see this empty abyss, this expanse of uncharted waters where storms rage and boats sink.
All I know, all that gives me hope and peace, is that Jesus is there. He might not calm our storms right away. He may not all of a sudden make sense of the disorganization and craziness that is our lives. He may not reach out and heal the brokenness as quickly as we would like him to. But he’s there. And he’s not sleeping. He’s waiting for us to run to him, to cuddle up next to him, to bury ourselves in his arms even when there are storms raging outside.
When you step outside of your metaphorical ark and there are orangutans and polar bears on your front lawn, Jesus is there laughing and crying with you. And He’s there helping you clean up the mess.