Susanna Wesley is known as the mother of Methodism. She had nineteen children, although nine of them died in infancy. When she felt that her children weren’t getting the spiritual direction they needed from her church, she began a Bible Study for her family that eventually outgrew the church in terms of attendance. She was first, though, a mother in times when women had few other opportunities. It is told of Mrs. Wesley that when things became too overwhelming around the house, as they might be with all those kids, she had a unique way of gaining “alone time” with God. She would take her outer skirt and flip it up over her head so that she could escape the confusion and spend time with God, even if only for a few moments.
I love the idea and smile at the picture that story forms in my head. Obviously fashions have changed since that time so I couldn’t imagine a modern day woman finding that time for peace in that way. Still, there is something to be said for finding a way to get alone with God in the midst of the difficulties of the day. David recognized that need. He would seek God so that he could hide in Him. “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7)
One of the popular Christian songs out today is a song called “Breathe” by Johnny Diaz. The words and music combine to illustrate the hectic nature of life today. As the world is exploding with all that needs to be done, the song reminds us that God calls us to step back and take a deep breath and rest at His feet. Chaos seems to have a more urgent call, but God calls us to breathe. David’s call may have even been more literal as his enemies surrounded him and he was, at time, running for his life. He needed God’s protection from those who sought to kill him, and, when King Saul was the pursuer, he wouldn’t make any attempt to harm Saul. He needed God to hide him, to protect him, to bring him joy and strength in those troubling times.
If you are a human being, you will likely encounter chaos today. You will probably encounter it more than once. You may face it when trying to get ready to leave the house in the morning, or helping someone else do that. You may encounter it in traffic as you head to work or run those errands that have to be done. Encounters with family at home or co-workers may add to the chaos. Please note that those encounters may be great meetings or time with family, but they still throw your day into an uproar. Chaos calls insistently. It sucks you into its presence slowly and often without warning. When you find yourself in the midst of that chaos and you start to feel overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, recognize the problem, remember that God is your hiding place to protect you in the trouble, and then breathe, just breathe to rest at God’s feet.
Lord, how easy it is to be swept away by the chaos this is in the world around me. Let my relationship with You be so strong that I will seek Your presence in the midst of the chaos, step back from the whirlwind, and find rest and deliverance in You.