Longing for Peace, Living in Chaos

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” 1 Peter 1:2

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”  2 Peter 1:2

I am holding on to these two verses this week with all that I have.  I keep repeating them over and over and over again.  They have become a prayer that I can say in a single breath over and over again; quietly I repeat to myself “grace and peace in abundance, grace and peace in abundance”.  

Though I have been repeating this prayer over and over again, it has not magically removed me from the chaos that daily life is throwing at me right now.  Let’s just say that my week is tumultuous at best.  There is something going on every single night this week for my family.  I feel like I am running in six different directions during each moment of the day.  I’m tired, no exhausted, and weary.  I feel like my self control has gone on vacation.  I’m waiting for that last straw to be placed upon the camel’s back and for me, when that happens, I fall into a weeping heap.

I only have to briefly walk through my house to feel my blood pressure and anxiety start to rise.  To most people it is a home, but at this moment to me it feels like a treacherous obstacle course.  There are mountains of kids stuff to climb over, of which I can not see the top.  There is a mine field of papers and envelopes on my desk, I fear that one will explode at any moment reminding me of something that I to not have on my list, but need to tend to.  Just walking by the entry way to this farm house feels like I am crawling through a mud pit.

When I think I can reach the finish line of the day, to the sanctuary of my bedroom for sleep, I discover that my dearest family members have left things on my bed for me to deal with because they were worried I wouldn’t see them if the were stacked somewhere else.  The book order for school with a couple of dozen new items circled, a stuffed animal that needs a seam stitched and papers that need to be tended to for the farm.

Did you notice that I had not mentioned the kitchen; that place where dishes and crumbs mystically multiply on clean counters and table tops?  Or how about the bathroom where somehow the kids get clean but the tub and sink get very dirty?  How about the laundry basket that is a permanent fixture in the living room with clothes that need to be folded.

I run through this obstacle course every day.  It feels like I run from the moment I get up.  I put one pack on my back, then go, go, go.  I return for a brief time when I jump and weave through more obstructions, drop this load, pick up another pack and go some more.  Other weeks of this magnitude would have me wondering if I was going to live to take another breath.

This week, my breath is praying me through.

“Grace and peace in abundance, grace and peace in abundance, grace and peace in abundance.”

One of my daily calendars reads today, “She knew there would be bumps in the road, so she protected her heart, adjusted her attitude and help onto God’s promises with both hands.”

Wow, that seems divinely placed in my week.  The promise I am holding onto is “grace and peace in abundance.”

Oh yes, did I mention my husband just walked in from farm work mumbling “stupid weather channel”.  Another breath, another prayer, “grace and peace in abundance”. 

Sometimes I picture peace as that lone beach chair, sitting at the horizon where the sky touches a sandy beach and the clear water splashes at the foot of the chair.  It sure sounds nice, but from this point it’s more of a romantic fantasy.  I’m pretty certain my prayers are not going to get me there.

But, don’t believe that my prayers haven’t been answered, because amidst the chaos, there is peace.  There has been grace.  I’ve found, though exhausted, I held my tongue quiet when I really wanted to lash out at something my darling mate did.  I found the sweetest bit of peace following a brief laugh at something unexpected.  For one moment I closed my eyes and could only here air coming through the vent in the room.

There may be tears, frustration, failure and a whole lot of dirt awaiting me in this day.  But I’m breathing prayers of grace and peace in abundance to get through it all.

Perhaps you can relate to all of this, maybe you are in a season of your life where you understand exactly what I am talking about.  Perhaps you can feel the heat of tears welling in your eyes because it’s all too much.  As I end today with a prayer, know that I am not just praying for me.  I’m praying for us.

Dear and Beloved Lord,

When did life get so bumpy and chaotic?  Why does it have to be this way?  Will it ever get better?  Do I want to look under there to see what else is waiting to jump out at me?

Lord, please, please, please – grace and peace in abundance.  May we start strong, not because we have strength, but because You have strength that is made perfect in our weakness.  May we finish this day well, not because we are in control, but because You work in all things for the good of those who love You. 

God please help us to catch those little glimpses of Your goodness.  May they be refreshing bursts and we run through crazy schedules and mounting obstacles.  May we experience a few smiles and a few laughs unexpectedly along the way. 

May we hold to You for grace and peace in abundance.  In Jesus name, amen.

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