shadow
ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Beverly Lussi

Keep Calm and Carry On . . . Even in the Chaos

“Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.” 
Psalm 94:19 TPT

‘Keep calm and carry on’ is an old saying that’s been popularized in the United States over the past few years. As I entered a thrift store in South Georgia a few weeks ago in search of a foam topper mattress cover, you can bet that saying was rolling off my lips. I love a good deal, but this was the most disorganized and disheveled store I have ever seen in my life. It was total chaos! As one who thrives on orderliness, you can imagine my inner turmoil. How does anyone find anything in this mess (see the picture)?

There were people everywhere, a long line at the checkout counter, and no sales person to be found! “Keep calm and carry on. You can do this. Persevere. Find what you came for, and get out,” I kept telling myself. It took a while to maneuver through the aisles and customers, but I eventually scored BIG with a three-inch queen topper and mattress cover for $20 (they had a half-price sale that day – Yes!).

Reflecting on that frenzied adventure, it reminds me of how I feel when busyness, stress, anxiety, or worry creeps into my life. Like the theme verse above, my thoughts seem to plummet out of control, leaving me confused and bothered. I long for a reprieve from the perceived bedlam and distractions around me. Time is easily wasted on needless concerns that seldom occur. My focus is skewed. I long for delight instead of disarray.

Can you relate to this scenario? Oh, how we desperately need the presence of God during fretful seasons of life. “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:13 NASB His promises are available if we will but claim them. The assurance of His peace and comfort is ours when we leave the clutter at His feet. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NASB

My friends, hectic days will come from time to time. But you don’t have to stay there. God will see you through as you yield your thoughts to Him and trust Him to provide the calm to carry you on.

 

[Digging deeper – Ps. 22:24; 32:7-8; 37:5; 55:1-2, 16-17, 22; Jn. 14:27; 2 Cor.10:5; 1 Peter:5:7-8]

Surviving the chaos,

Beverly <><

 

 

 

Photo credit: photo by Beverly Lussi

Standing Through the Storms

“This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward… “
Hebrews 10:25 TPT

As my best friend and I rode her golf cart around the pond admiring the beauty of the late afternoon, she began to point out the cypress trees in the water and on land. There were small clumps of two or three cypresses scattered here and there, tall, and stately. A variety of trees had once stood among them, but had been removed, leaving only the cypress trees. When high winds struck the area a few years ago, the storm had broken out the tops of all the cypresses except two. The lack of protection and support from stronger trees had proved detrimental.

Looking at those trees made me think about us as Christians; the church; the body of Christ. We need each other desperately! We go through seasons where the storms of life hit us hard. If we don’t have others to surround us and be there for us, we can easily lose our grip.

Discouragement, despair, and defeat have a way of sneaking in when you least expect it. When the wind blows strong and hard, one can feel overwhelmed and broken. Yet, if we surround ourselves with those who will encourage and stand with us, we are more easily protected from the squall of the battle around us.

In First Corinthians, we learn that the body of Christ is not one member, but many (12:14). God has placed each of us right where we need to be within the body as He desires (12:18). The members should care for one another whether there be suffering or rejoicing (12:25-26).

Where has God placed you? Are you paying attention to those around you that are struggling to keep their head above water? You may be that beacon of light to offer hope and healing to a hurting soul. Be available and willing to weather the storm with others.

Maybe you are the one going through the tempest. Never be afraid or ashamed to cry out for help. Others can only stand with you if they know you need them.

God is always there for each of us no matter what. In like fashion, as His body, let us find ourselves “standing firm in one spirit [and one purpose], with one mind striving side by side[as if in combat] for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27 AMP)

[Digging deeper – Acts 2:42-47; Phil. 2:1-4; Col. 4:7-18; Heb. 3:13; James 5:13-16;               1 Peter 4:8-11]

Needing each other,

Beverly <><

 

 

Photo Credit: photo by Beverly Lussi

Stand and Fight!

“Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil];” 
1 Timothy 6:12 AMP

As I was looking out my kitchen window, movement at the base of the fence caught my attention. As I rose to get a closer look, I knew exactly what was going on. A mama mockingbird had a pesky squirrel on the ground giving it what for! Running for its life with the angry bird dive bombing it across the yard, the squirrel eventually escaped through a hole in the fence. This was not the first time the birds had put the squirrels on the run in my back yard. When babies are in the nest, you can expect heightened protection mode from the parents! The enemy might be bigger, but it doesn’t stop my feathered friends from attacking with fierce courage.

God created and equipped the birds with sharp beaks, wings to fly, and instincts to attack and pursue when threatened. He also created and equipped us with what we need to engage in battles, but of a different nature. Paul refers to these enemies in Ephesians as “the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12 NASB). Paul continues in verses 13-17 to describe the armor God has provided for us to put on in order to stand and fight against the evil schemes of the devil.

When I think about the aggressive action of that mockingbird, it inspires me to pursue the wiles of the devil with relentless determination. Our foe is strong and devious, but our God and His armor is mighty beyond description. I need not fear when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But, I need to be dressed and ready; alert and attentive; sober and mindful. I want to fight, like the little bird, as if my life depends on it – because it does. I want to stand my ground and protect what God has given me – my faith, my family, and my friends.

Spiritual battles will look much different than the glorified movie scenes of flesh and blood. Instead, they will be fought with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, God’s Word, and prayer. Our fight may require times of consistent intercession and resistance; prayer and fasting; speaking truth and taking hits. Occasionally, our Commander may order us to be still; to rest; to be renewed and refreshed.

One thing for certain, you never go to war alone. God has your back. So be strong and courageous. Stand and fight. Victory is yours!

[Digging deeper – Deuteronomy 20:4; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Jeremiah 1:19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 1:3]

Dressed and ready,

Beverly <><