Pastor Ralph J. Mineo
Chaos happens in our lives. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Sometimes it feels so awful that we don’t know how we can get through it.
But chaos isn’t God!
In one of my favorite Bible stories, the apostles were in a first century rickety boat, with heavy winds and waves. They thought they would die. But worse, they seemed to doubt the presence of God. They were certainly aware of the popular religion of the day that claimed there was a “god of chaos.” Perhaps they wondered if, just maybe, this popular myth was true. For three hours (from 3:00 to 6:00 in the morning) chaos was in charge. Could the “god of chaos” be in charge?
Finally, they saw what they thought was a “ghost.” Now, they were REALLY afraid! Could the “god of chaos” be approaching them “in person?” They cried out in fear!
As it turns out, it wasn’t a “ghost.” It was Jesus, walking on the water towards them. He called them to have courage, as he identified himself. “It is I,” Jesus said.
God was coming to the believers, to the church-in-the-boat, “in person,” in the person of Jesus, the Son of God. He came to be with them. He came to the calm the chaos. He came to calm the storm.
Chaos isn’t God! The storm isn’t God. The winds and the waves aren’t God. Jesus is God, “in person!”
Oh yes, the apostles were afraid. Peter got out of the boat to walk to Jesus, and started to sink. Fear and doubt were overtaking him. Peter, and certainly the others, thought they were going to die! But fear, doubt, and death aren’t God!
Peter got it right when chaos, fear, doubt, even death were at hand. He cried out to Jesus, “Save me, Lord!”
Jesus pulled him out of the chaos and brought him back to the church-in-the-boat. Then Jesus brought calm to the hearts of the apostles, to the church-in-the-boat, to the wind and the waves.
Dear people of God, when you have chaos or any kind, follow the lead of Peter and cry out “Save me, Lord!”
Try this spiritual exercise when you’re in chaos. Close your eyes, wave your hands wildly as a symbol of the chaos in your life. In the darkness of your closed eyes, imagine Jesus coming to you in the darkness. Slowly calm the movement of your hands, and pray, “Save me, Lord!”