My devotional today was about lighthouses - how they provide light and direction to ships in stormy seas, and how we as Christians are supposed to be, in a similar fashion, lights to the world. One phrase stood out to me: Christ is where chaos ends. "But, that isn't really true..." I thought to myself. "Christians experience chaos all the time." However, upon further reflection:
If God in Christ is real and trustworthy, then Christ IS where the chaos ends. The problem is that we haven't, in this life, fully obtained Christ. We are caught between the often-stated 'now and not yet'. Sometimes I think we forget what this really means. By faith, we believe that God is for us in Christ Jesus. But too many times Christians - especially, I think, in wealthy, safe, nations - tend to experience our relationship with Christ in terms of wealth and safety. But this is not reality.
The reality of life is that it is fraught with chaos, and although we should not seek out chaos (it will find us soon enough!), we should not run from it either. But this means depending upon Christ within the midst of chaos. If Christ is not enough to sustain us in the chaos, if we prefer to rely upon our wealth and safety, then it shows how little we understand faith.
Of course, we must also be wise... especially when we are responsible for others. But, in a sense, as Christians, we are all responsible to others all the time. We have to weigh the needs of our neighbors almost as if they are the needs of family. We must always weigh our lives as being worthy of sacrifice for the sake of others, and the Gospel. This runs directly contrary to most of what our society tells us, all the time.
To return to the lighthouse metaphor, it is actually that we, as Christians, are BOTH the lighthouse AND the vessel in the storm. We are grounded upon Christ and have the Spirit's gifts to bring light, direction, healing and hope to those around us. At the same time, we are being tossed about and drifting toward unseen dangers and only the light of Christ - primarily as seen through other 'lighthouses' - can help us to navigate our way.
My prayer for every one of us today is that we would understand by the Spirit's guidance what it means to trust in Christ more fully, so that we can truly become beacons of light and hope, grounded in confidence that Christ is sustaining us, even as we are tossed around by the waves of life. Amen.