Politics, powers, influences, and opinions pile as high as Everest on the pages of my computer. Chaos taunts, schedules pressure like a tsunami out of control. Online "experts" promise answers, news anchors share opinions, books pile so high, they start resembling The Leaning Towers of Pisa. Yet, so many are left empty asking, “How do we not just survive, but thrive in this chaos?”
I open Scripture and read the story of the seeds in Mark 4. Seeds scatter in four places…
And in a world of vultures eager to take our harvest, where soil is sparse, and thorns can rob us, I "get" that God wants my life full of "well adapted" soil, but what does that look like, practically? When advice, intellectualism, and practical tools fail us, how do we thrive when the world’s promises of hope, life, and power fail us? And what about that well recited verse, how God promises He’ll work things together for good, for those that love Him? (Romans 8:28) Does that include amid this culture of chaos too?
Doesn’t God promise grace sufficient (II Cor. 12:9), to meet every need according to His riches in glory, (Phil. 4:19) that we would not be overtaken with temptation. (Jude 1:24), and for salvation to those who believe? (John 10:27-8)
Still, our lives can be left like dependent cellphones, always needing to be plugged in. Thankfully, there is a power source, for Missional Women, who want to do more than survive, but thrive.
In Mark 3:9, Jesus had healed many, and as a result the people were pressing in to touch him. But Jesus told the disciples to have a boat ready, so He could retreat to safe waters.
Years ago in Guatemala, my husband, kids and I were ministering to remote children. The crowd was small and manageable until school got out and children poured in, surrounding us from every side. Just then, our team truck drove up and we piled in the back while the children chased us from behind.
And I can imagine Jesus, no different from us, feeling pressure, exhaustion, suffocated by the overwhelming chaos that must have closed in on Him.
In intense, stressful, heated, or even casual, everyday situations, Jesus understood the only key to thriving, He separated Himself to pray.
Jesus knew, thriving required more than yet another resource, tool, or any kind of mere human help. Praying was a regular part of Jesus lifestyle. Jesus required connection to His Father before He said or did anything.
In fact, Jesus would often quietly slip away into the wilderness to pray.
(Luke 5:16) Jesus ministry thrived and this is why:
My cell phone has a warning when I am low on battery. How might the chaos fade if we prioritized His presence, radiated His glory, then went out with zeal, not just surviving, but thriving, knowing He is our sole source of sustainment?
Prayer softens the soil, yielding thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold harvest. Isn’t it time we silence the chaos, tap into our power source, and pray?
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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