It’s all wonderful. Two baby boys 15 months apart. A little girl home and thriving after a 4 year adoption journey. They’re now 3, 5 and 6. I’m the soccer, baseball, basketball and gymnastics mama I always dreamed of being. My house is a good kind of loud. The kind that has a revolving door of kids in and out with belly laughs and cries from skinned knees. My community- they’re the best. Seriously. My “people” constantly help me without me asking. They drop paper products at my door to spare me of my beloved chore- the dishes. They pray over me. They chauffeur my kids. They cheer for me.
It’s JOY. Pure joy. My life is pure joy.
It’s crazy. Working full time. Paying the bills. Managing the house. Managing the lawn. Keeping up with the practice and game schedules. Attempting to stay on top of my husband’s constant health battles. Trying to love myself and all the people that need to be loved- well.
It’s CHAOS. Pure chaos. My life is pure chaos.
It’s a constant battle. How do I reconcile the tumutulous life with the joy in my heart? How do I consistently keep that joy without being being dragged into a downward spiral where I can’t see past my circumstances? I am no expert, Biblical theologian or teacher, but here is what I have come up with.
It’s the four letter word where our worlds of joy and chaos can collide and still point us to the cross. Hope is the space where we can walk through the valleys and stand in the pits without being swallowed up.
I’ve read this story a hundred times. And I’ve noticed this aspect of the story multiple times. But until you’re standing in the midst of the pandemonium, there’s little appreciation for this:
‘“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Daniel 3:25
If Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had only fixed their eyes on getting out of the fire and the chaos that surrounded them, they would have been standing at the edge waiting to be rescued. What a gift they would have missed in the fourth body walking around in the fire with them!
God never left them in the fire. He crawled right in that pit with them. But here’s the part I miss SO often: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego also chose to walk in the fire WITH God.
They fixed their eyes on the HOPE set before them.
Tomorrow is a new year. This means people will be crowding my area of the gym, consuming less M&Ms, reading the first few chapters of Genesis, making new household rules and cleaning out all the old toys.
We hope to shed the pounds. We hope to gain knowledge. We hope to do better this year. We hope to make our lives better.
Even if we follow through with these past week one, these are not the hopes that will sustain us. Our hopes for the new year will not give you the strength to walk through the chaos while clinging to the Savior.
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2
As you start this year and as I launch this site, my prayer for you my friends, is that together we cling to the HOPE that will allow us to walk with Jesus in the collision of the joy and the chaos.