Into the chaos

By Elaine Knudtson

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary  place where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

We have left the quiet security of our home to take a road trip with two of our wonderful, adorable, challenging, over-active grandchildren. Today, as we drive through the heart of the California fires near Redding, we are reminded that not all storms are external. Life challenges us to leave the solitary and step into the chaos.

island during golden hour and upcoming storm
Photo by Johannes 

Jesus came from a quiet place into the Storm.

They tested Him by their doubt and foolish request to walk on water with Him.

They forgot the healings, the feeding of the 5000, the parables, the daily teachings.

How could they be so dense?

What was a storm to the Master of the Universe?

It was THEIR storm.

They watched healings; they listened to parables; they cheered confrontation of authorities; they marveled at exorcisms.

All passive.

No effort required.

But THEIR storm was life-threatening.

Fear invoked panic, helplessness, powerlessness, vulnerability.  They could die. Faith was no longer theoretical; it was critical.

He came through. In the midst of their storm, He was there as a reminder of the divine.

He waited. They pleaded. He acted. All was still.  Status quo restored.  Rest.

Jesus left the quiet place and stepped into our storm.

I enjoy the solitary moments in His presence. No demands, just passive assent.

But He sends me into the storms that require active faith and I forget the love, abandon peace, and surrender joy for anger, demands, control, and fear.

Take me back to that place where I nod, smile, and cheer.

Spare me the moments where I need to trust in the chaos.

Let me avoid the test and taste the glory.

But Jesus left the love of the Father for the cross.

Embrace the chaos.


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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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