A Quiet Chaos

Psalm 139
For the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David
O, Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but forgive me for this one is a little different.  I am in the midst of writing a book and I wanted to share a small part of it with you.  I thank you for your patience and persistence in checking back.  I hope you enjoy and as always – may you hear God in every word. ~ Elizabeth

a partial chapter from Alternate States of Being by Elizabeth Marchman

A Quiet Chaos

Sometimes I have to get myself lost to find God again.  There is a restlessness in my soul that wants to be on the move.  I want to experience God everywhere, in every moment, so I hunt for Him as if He were some elusive wild animal.  I know He is there, but distractions abound.  My feet take me down a dark road that veers off God’s illuminated path and into the world’s trap I fall.  The world has forgotten God, and I, misguided by self-pleasure and instant gratification, stand in adoration of its Babylonian attitude: I am and there is none besides me.  I always end up in some kind of trouble and yet, God is always there is to rescue me.  He calls me in from my travels and even though at first, it is difficult for me to hear Him, soon the wind carries His gentle whispers to my heart and I am thrust back into His presence.  It is warm.  It is sunny.  I am at peace.  The longing I felt while lost is replaced by a happiness that alone, I can not create.  I desire to be God’s breeze so I can move from place to place taking His beauty and healing presence with me for all the world to behold.  Yet, the revelation is sure: only when I forget the world, leaving my own complacent desires behind, to live in the perfect abandon of God’s will, that I will ever truly have my hopes fulfilled.  To exist completely surrendered to the whims of the Holy Spirit is the only way to tame the restlessness and embrace the rising freedom as God beckons me from the depths of my spirit.

For me, living in total abandon becomes overwhelming, creating a chaos generated from within.  I quickly become lost in a maze of my own perpetual acts of helplessness and literally drop out of sight, sometimes for weeks at a time.  I drive myself to exhaustion working on projects to occupy my mind as I wait for God to reappear in my field of view.  I become so obsessively focused that I do not sleep and rarely eat.  I often wonder why God created me this way.  Why did He instill this weakness that causes me to run away, to shutdown, to hide?  Somehow though, I know, He is working on me in these times to create a stronger me, a wiser me, an improved me.  Even when I do not hear Him, I know eventually, He is expecting a response.  I emerge from this seclusion refreshed with a new perspective about myself.  I fall back into the routine activities that rule my life.  And those days spent hiding?  It is as if they never really existed, just a memory of a weird disturbing dream left to wander through my mind some stormy afternoon:  screening phone calls, neglecting e-mails, the knocks at the front door from obscure salesmen that sent me to my knees behind the couch, just so I was not seen.  It is all veiled.  During these times, even though I want to hide from God too, I know He is surrounding me with His love, for there is no where I can flee from His presence.  It is His love that draws me back to Him, setting me right.  Somewhere in the midst of all the chaos was some quiet, like the eye of a storm, and it was in that eye that I was sheltered and protected from the world for a while.  That shelter and protection made me appreciate God and the peace He chose to give me.  It was a rare jewel discovered amongst schedules and appointments and times when I would wonder “Is there anyone who doesn’t need me right now?”
This calm redirects my focus.  It gives me time to breathe.  It refreshes and washes over me showing me God’s omnipotence and orchestration of all things.  Even my chaos.  Renewed, I can see that God is orchestrating this moment of realization that He is sovereign, He is omnipotent.  And then, I can hear Him speaking to me, encouraging me to press on under a blessing and covering of His awesome love for me, just as I am, for I was fearfully and wonderfully made.  In this quietness, I have discovered the response God has been waiting for is ready,  nice and neat and packaged: a revised version of me emerging along with the revelation that in these times of running and hiding under the illusion I had some control was God perfecting and refining me.  I know the restlessness will come again and chaos will wait for me around every corner, but so will new epiphanies shadowed by clarity and truth.
I am not flawed.  I am God’s perfect creation and I am beautiful in His sight.
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2 Responses to “A Quiet Chaos”

  1. annchastain says:

    We are all guilty of letting the world draw us into the glitter as well as the everyday things that capture us. Even though we feel that God has moved away from us, it is us who leave God behind.
    So true, we are God's perfect creations and He loves us no matter where we are in our journey. I do believe that God uses these times to refine us. This blog touches my heart and makes me understand how close God is to us and how He loves us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Someone once said…The closer to the creator you are, the more creative you become! This blog is beautiful and well articulated. Because, you made/make God tangible and accessible.

    This scripture came to my mind…
    For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. EPH. 2:10
    Love you,

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