The voices swirled over his head as he sat, rocking back and forth with his forehead in his hands. “Leave me alone!” he shouted, but that only aggravated them. The wind whipped wildly while he was pulled back and forth from their reality to his. Lately the lines had been blurring more and more, and he struggled to see what was real. It was physically exhausting to continuously fight this battle, and he was reaching the point of being done. He wasn’t even sure he wanted freedom anymore. He hated this, but he had become comfortable here since it was all he knew. The locals had grown scared of the war waging within him, and they resorted to chaining him to the city gates. That never lasted long as the master of chaos would roar up, break the chains, and force him to run into the desert to live among the tombs as a naked man. Tonight the reality of it was overwhelming, and in a lucid moment, he cried out, “save me!” Only, no one could hear him. No one but the tombs beside him. Tears poured down his cheeks as reality hit again. There was no saving him. He wasn’t worth it, so what was the point of hope? What was hope anyways: a distant wish, a small glimmer of light, a dream? His heart was heavy as the noise came back to fill the moment of silence that he basked in. Within seconds his mind was consumed again by the darkness, and he sent forth a wail, a wail that would chill you to the bone. “AHHUUGGAA!” And with that wail, the darkness consumed him.
It wasn’t that long ago that my mind would rage in a battle with the voice of chaos, where I would think I was going insane because the noise in my head was louder than the noise around me, and all I wanted was peace and stillness. In those moments, Heaven was singing over me. Sometimes I could tune into it, other times it was hard, but in the beautiful seconds of peace, I would hear the sound of violins, harps, gentle piano, and cellos. The music would swirl over my head as my breathing stilled and my heart found peace again. It took a lot of engaging to tune into that frequency somedays, but every time I broke through, it was worth every second of fight. Peace that surpassed my understanding and circumstances would flood my mind, and my heart would breathe again. I’m reminded daily that storms are all around us. Our nation has storms. Our families have storms. We all have our own inner storms, and yet God. And yet Jesus. And yet Holy Spirit. This is something I find myself saying a lot in response to worry, fear, and negative circumstances. “And yet God.” Because, do we not remember that the King of kings is fighting for us, singing over us constantly, and speaking peace to EVERY circumstance? Do we not remember that He has called us to not worry about ANYTHING, but in ALL THINGS through prayer and supplication, present our requests to Him and He WILL GIVE us peace that surpasses our understanding? Do we not remember that He is God and these storms do not surprise Him or knock Him off His throne? Corruption, violence, anger, fear, anxiety, and sickness are not new on this earth, and they do not change the plan God has to prosper us with Life and a Future as we trust in Him and walk with Him. I read a quote this week that continues to play through my mind. “Do not try to calm the storm. Calm yourself. The storm will pass.” Man, ain’t that the truth! Storms always pass, some take longer than others but they do pass, and after every storm comes light. God will work that storm for His glory and our good, so why panic in the midst of it? Instead, let us strive to see the light in it, to call forth the light that we know will come, even if we cannot see it yet, and to ask God to pour out peace that surpasses our understanding. Because when chaos comes, I want to be found clinging to the Rock of Ages.
His head slumped as he struggled to stand. The years of fight had left their mark, and his body was weary. It took everything he had to stand up. He looked out over the water that had just been blackened by large clouds and roaring thunder. The flashes of lightning had shook him to his core, but now the water was still and the waves silenced, almost as if someone had told them to stop. He marveled at how quickly it had gone quiet, and through the stilling sea, he saw a small boat making its way to shore. The demons roared up again, and he thrashed his way to the ground, shouting and scraping his body as he writhed around like an animal. A man stepped out of the boat and made his way to shore. “Come out of him,” the man gently whispered. “Do not torment us,” chaos shouted back, for they knew he was the Son of the Most High. “What is your name?” the man asked. “Legion,” the demons responded. “Please, do not command us to depart. Allow us to go into the pigs over there.” In one nod, He commanded them out of the man and into a herd of pigs that were nearby. The pigs instantly ran in chaos off the edge of a nearby cliff and drowned in the water below, but the man stood free, for chaos had released him. He lifted his weary head, now full of hope, eyes twinkling with light as he looked at the man before him. “You, you freed me,” he barely uttered as tears poured from his cheeks. “Just as I stilled the water you saw before you, so have I stilled your soul,” Jesus replied. ” You are free, Child. Free indeed. For the sake of freedom I have set you free.” The man could not believe it. The world around him stood still, and the voice of chaos was gone. His mind was clear, his eyes were open, and his heart was full. “Go to your home and proclaim all that I have done for you,” Jesus gently said to the man as he lifted him off the ground. The man couldn’t respond, for he hadn’t the words, but he nodded and turned to go. He stopped, overwhelmed with gratitude, and ran back, jumping on Jesus and hugging Him tight. “Thank you,” He uttered, “thank you.” He turned and spent his days proclaiming all that the Son of God had done for him.
I don’t think I put together before that Jesus calmed the storm on the sea right before his boat came to land and he encountered the man possessed by demons. What a brillant reminder! No matter the storm, Jesus can calm it. No matter the battle, Jesus fights it. No matter the stronghold, Jesus breaks it. His plans for you are good and will prosper you with Life and a Future even if you cannot see it right now. He is for you, not against you, and He is fighting every battle. Breathe deep today, Beloved, for the King of the world is with you, so who can be against you? The God of angel armies is by your side, so do not fear. And, when that voice of chaos comes, which it will, find yourself clinging to the Rock of Ages instead of being tossed in the waves of the storm. One day that storm will cease, and light will come. Prophecy that light now, for the Alpha and Omega is with you. Chaos has no place here.