FARGO — Chaos has been running rampant in recent weeks. When will it peak? How long and how deep will the economic and health ripple go throughout our country? How close to home will it hit?
Last week I shared one of the blessings of chaos. Chaos prods us in a wonderful direction to narrow our focus, adjusting our priorities to what matters most.
Spiritually, with every season of chaos comes an opportunity to focus on my faith and deepen and expand my journey with Jesus Christ. A mentor of mine once told me, “Some people won’t turn toward Jesus or grow their faith until their faith is all they have.” Will you remain faithful and ready during the times you are most tempted to give up and quit? Faith grows the strongest during these chaotic times when we persevere.
James, who lived when Jesus did and learned from him said: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
The second opportunity chaos provides is to expand our vision. Chaos can encourage us to narrow our focus and expand our vision…at the same time. Expanding your vision means to dream bigger and dream more often. Walt Disney said, “Don’t just think outside the box — lose the box and just dream!” When you narrow your focus, you provide room for God’s dream to capture your imagination and your heart. When we focus on chaos, we take our eye off the dream and chaos wins.
In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus sends his disciples out on a chaotic mission project (don’t take any money with you, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves, be on your guard, although you are guilty of nothing there is a good chance you will get arrested and beaten on account of me…). Read this chapter. It is crazy what these courageous disciples were about to embark on.
The common belief in the day of Jesus was those who were sick, died early, had leprosy, or had demons were being punished by God. So, for Jesus, as a religious teacher, to send out his disciples to interact with the sick and to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease was simply unheard of. Lepers were usually forced to move away from family and friends to live with other lepers. Sometimes as lepers walked down the street people would shout “unclean, unclean,” to warn people to scurry away.
Jesus sends his disciples out into utter chaos with a big vision to impact this world as he tells them, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give!” (Matthew 10:8)
Chaos provides an opportunity to lean into God’s vision, believing God isn’t done with you yet as he increases your vision of the significant potential your life holds. God still trusts you. He wired you for greatness in his family, with the potential to change this world as you choose to be an example of Jesus Christ!