23 Dec 2016
By: Kendra McClelland
Picture yourself getting ready for a formal event with all your best girl friends. You gather hours before you need to leave to allow for spontaneous dance parties, light snacking, and welcomed distractions. Once you’re ready to go, you step outside, and there’s violent gusts of wind tossing your hair like crashing waves. Suddenly, your perfectly curled hair looks like a tornado hit, and the delightful bliss cultivated for the past three hours turns into frustration, ironic laughter, and possibly a couple of tears.
Such is life, ladies.
On a spiritual level, the same circumstance occurs. Morning devotions, daily prayer, Bible study, church, and occasional retreats help cultivate a healthy relationship with Jesus. However, we live in an imperfect world that doesn’t block the gusts of wind from steering us off course.
Sometimes it feels like right when I find peace, chaos strikes all around me. At first, I cling to those spiritual habits resisting the temptation to let stress and anxiety kick in, but when the gusts of wind keep coming with greater force, it’s challenging not to lose my footing.
Before I know it, my prayer life and my trust in Jesus mirror the image of my post-tornado hair. My inner peace has vanished, and everything feels like the end of the world.
It’s overwhelming. I feel small. I feel conquered by the chaos around me. Satan has me right where he wants me.
Isn’t it easy to forget that God shows his greatest power through the weak and vulnerable?
A small stone thrown by a small boy killed the giant, Goliath. A young boy with a couple of fish and loaves of bread entrusted to Jesus fed five thousand people. A young, poor woman gives birth to a baby boy in a feeding trough who is the Savior of the world.
God does miraculous things in the midst of our littleness.
During those chaotic moments, we have a choice. We can choose to make room for Jesus to birth peace in our hearts, or we can join the innkeepers. Do you believe that God will defeat the giants in your life, or do you go into battle alone?
When I make room in my heart for Christ’s peace it doesn’t change the chaos around me, but it preserves my inner peace and prevents me from getting tossed in the wind.
It’s only when I trust in God’s faithfulness and strength that I am able to see the world’s chaos in proper proportion to my God. There’s nothing quite like being immersed in Christ’s peace unafraid of the chaos surrounding you.
I am tired of being an innkeeper.
I’ve learned that the stillness of Christ’s peace is the only tactic to shield chaos. There’s not enough room for chaos and peace, so I am clearing out the stress and anxiety that bully my heart and making room for Jesus.
The decision is yours. Is there room for Jesus’ peace in your heart?
“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Kendra McClelland is the regional chapter director for Santa Clara University’s Wonderfully Made chapter. She works in leadership consulting and is pursuing a Master of Divinity with the dream to serve God’s kingdom in pastoral ministry. Aside from her work and studies, she enjoys traveling internationally, running, and losing track of time over coffee with her dearest friends. There’s also nothing like a good worship jam session to set her heart ablaze, she loves Jesus and she’s not afraid to say it (or sing it)!