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

Questions: Why are you afraid?

Whether talking with the disciples, speaking in a public forum, or defending Himself before His enemies, Jesus consistently asked questions.  In the four gospels, Jesus asked over 300 questions.


Why are you afraid?

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Matthew 8:23-37

friday_57595743_SFear. It’s something I wish I could say that I rarely feel since becoming a believer.  But even though I professionally counsel many who struggle with fear and anxiety, I can’t deny my own battle with it as well.

I know that because we live in a fallen world, we will always feel a measure of fear. In fact, God designed our brains to detect danger and to feel fear in order to prompt us to take action. A portion of our brain is constantly scanning our environment to detect threats. If this automatic and reactive region of the brain decides that something poses a threat, then a signal is sent to get our mind and body ready for whatever may be looming in our midst. Adrenaline pumps, hearts race, hands sweat, and stomachs lurch. hands are sweating and our stomach feels awful. We can’t always prevent this rapid surge from happening; it is naturally associated with dangerous situations.

The most advanced and rational region of our brain, the cortex, has the opportunity to either fuel or override the fear. Our knowledge of who God is, our memories of Scripture and our past experiences all play an enormous role in how the cortex will handle what we are experiencing, both externally and internally.

If we choose to trust God for wisdom, discernment, direction and leading, even if our lives are truly in danger, we can still experience a powerful peace amidst the storm. If we look at the situation and refuse to place our trust in God’s providence, His love, and His guidance, we can quickly go into panic mode.

I think this is what Jesus detected in this scene on the water. The storm would have been viewed as a threat to anyone, simply based on the way that we are created. But, once they assessed the situation—yet refused to trust that Jesus, who was right there with them, was in control—they moved from instinctive fear to panicky fear. Instead of believing in Jesus’ power, the gravity of their situation led them to doubt both His position and His passion for them.

In a similar situation my response has everything to do with what I choose to focus on. Once my physical symptoms alert me to the fact that I am feeling fearful or anxious, if I don’t allow the steadfast character of God and the truths of Scripture to be my anchor, I will inevitably flounder like the disciples did that day. My interactions with Him will be characterized by frightful cries instead of faith-filled conversations that affirm I know who He is, what He is about, and what I can lean on in the midst of the storm.

God knows that we will feel fear at times. But, as soon as we become aware of what is happening, we must take time to answer the question as well. “Why are you afraid?” Will your mind believe or doubt the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God?


Stinkin’ Thinkin’: Nervous Nelly

Life and peace? Yes, please!

All around us things clamor for our attention, making peace a seemingly elusive concept just out of our reach at times. Paul tells the Romans a mind set on the Spirit leads to life and peace. That sounds great, but how do we do that? How do we take our minds off of our flesh and set them on the Spirit?

Stick around this week and see what God’s word has to say about it …


Nervous Nelly

Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7, NLT

praying_on_bible_redNervous Nelly is the “loving” nickname my family gave me years ago. Truthfully, it’s not the name that I would have chosen, but if the shoe fits?

See, I would never have considered myself a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” kind of person. Instead, I would say I’m more of a “what if the glass spills” kind of person…and the liquid is hot…and it might burn someone…or what if the glass breaks…where are we going to get a new glass…what if someone gets a cut….

The nickname makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

It would be a struggle for me to put into words how the Lord has worked on me in this area over the past several years. He has done a mighty work on my anxious heart. However, the struggle is still there and worry is an old hat that I’m quick to put on. Diligence in praise and prayer is imperative to keep that old hat off my head!

Paul instructed the Philippians to worry about nothing but to pray about everything. He encouraged them to tell God what they needed and to thank Him for all He had done. Then, they would experience a peace that exceeded anything they could understand.

While worry is never an appropriate response, and praying about everything is imperative, another part is not to be missed. For too long, I just skipped over the thank Him for all He has done part. Because honestly, when life feels uncertain and my faith feels weak in the knees, my focus is on me and the storms around me. But when I’m able to take my thoughts off of myself and praise Him with thanksgiving, I gain some proper perspective as well as the peace I’m desperately needing.

But how do we do this when our weak-kneed faith collides with the storms of life? We praise Him. With great intention, we recall His works in our lives and we thank Him.

When our worries are turned into prayers and His goodness is recalled with thanksgiving, our hearts and minds are with His peace, exceeding anything we can understand.

With thanksgiving,