I waited patiently on the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth; a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust. . ." (Psalm 40:1-4)
It is a pattern woven into the story of faith: order, disorder, reorder; birth, death, rebirth; orientation, disorientation, reorientation. It happens over and over and over again. It makes me wonder, when seasons of chaos or disorder come, how in the world we can possibly be surprised. But we are. The life of faith is seasonal, but there is a reliable pattern to it all. After all, he has made everything beautiful in its own time. (Ecclesiastes 2:11) And that truth, and this pattern, should help us to be able to navigate the seasons of chaos whenever they come.
At the core of all chaos lies the question, "Can God really be trusted?" What do I really believe about him? Is he always at work (the way Jesus claims in John 5:17) and is his heart for me good? If so, then even in the midst of the anxiety and uncertainty of disorder and chaos, I can rely on the fact that he us ultimately going to bring about something new and beautiful, both within and around me, that could come about in no other way. So even when I find myself at the bottom of the slimy pit (which is often), wallowing in the mud and mire, I can rest assured that ultimately he will come. He will come, he will lift me up, he will set my feet on a rock, and he will put a new and beautiful song in my mouth. Therefore, I can actually wait patiently on him. That is the hope that life with God offers. That is the hope of this pattern of life and faith: disorder is always followed by reorder, death by rebirth, disorientation by reorientation. Something new and beautiful is being born that I cannot yet see. Thanks be to God.