“Finding Peace Amidst the Chaos” by Reva Lachica Moore
If things were left to us, we’d only want tranquility and happiness in our lives. We do not want problems. Not even a hint of one that would put us in total chaos.
Most school children wouldn’t mind going to school as long as they do not have to take exams. When my son Adam was in grade school, there were times when I had to pick him up at midday for a doctor’s appointment or for an out-of-town trip. On one such time, I had to wait a long time before Adam came out from his class.
When I asked the office girl where my son was, she pointed to a young boy sitting in a corner. I realized later that there were two Adam Wallaces and the office girl had called the wrong boy. A few minutes later, my Adam came out smiling and excited since he did not have to take the surprise quiz, and the other Adam Wallace had to go back and take it.
We like it when things are going well, and life is great. But without warning, you are not feeling well. Something is wrong and your life is suddenly interrupted.
When I was in college, I found myself scheduled for surgery and heard the biggest shock of my life – awful news I didn’t want to hear – a possible CANCER! At an early age of 19, I was admitted at the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital because of a lump in my breast. I was quite devastated and felt that my life was over! A woman whom I shared the room with at the hospital wasn’t at all encouraging.
“It’s cancer! You might as well have your breasts taken out because you will have them taken out eventually. They took mine out,” she said.
I have breast CANCER? Sudden fear gripped me, and my mind was in total chaos. I turned my face away from the woman. I couldn’t believe that my life was over at 19 and I was not even through with college. The threat of cancer placed me in utter despair.
Problems keep us stressed. The 2008 turmoil in the financial markets had been perilous. Many lost their savings, jobs and houses. And it could happen again. How does one find calm amidst the chaos?
Living with fear.
Nothing distresses any parent like having a son or daughter serving in a war-torn country. During Desert Storm, a friend whose son was in Iraq watched the news every chance she got. She checked the Internet looking for information about what was going on. Her cell phone was always charged and accessible. Whenever she was not expecting company, a knock at the door brought her absolute fear. How did she cope?
In the past weeks we’ve been seeing the explosive eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines. Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes. Grey ash covered roofs, vegetation, roads, everything. Will history repeat itself? Many are wondering. In 1754, Taal Volcano eruption lasted 7 months – from May to December. Fear and anguish are on people’s faces and hearts. How do they cope?
Now with the deadly coronavirus outbreak, people are worried. Will it spread here in the US? (I wrote this 2 years ago before covid came to the US. Today, there are over 800,000 covid deaths in the US.)
Almost every week a child is abducted, leaving family members utterly devastated, hoping beyond hope to hear good news. How does one cope? How does someone whose loved one is going through a terrible illness cope?
Someone’s way of escape.
Not long ago while in West Virginia, we saw a young man in a wheelchair, his head bent as if asleep, on the sidewalk of a restaurant. Half an hour later, two cops checked the man. He was handcuffed and placed in a police car. The young man tried to drown his troubles with alcohol. Unfortunately, he was found intoxicated in a public place.
We are living in the end times and calamities (earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, epidemics, etc.) will be more frequent and worse. Normally we will become extremely afraid but let’s remember that God does not give us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1: 7). And with all these chaos around us, we can find peace by talking to Jesus every moment of the day, for Isaiah 26:3 says….“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I find this so true and I no longer become afraid.
In 1999 when I had to go through the darkest time in my life due to the death of my husband, Edwin Wallace, I kept my mind focused on Jesus. In him I found absolute peace and comfort. And so, with today’s chaos, we can find peace always only through Jesus.
And about my “cancer scare” at age 19? That night before my surgery, I cried to God for a miracle and then a sense of perfect peace overcame me. A few days later, my biopsy showed – NO cancer. It was only a benign lump. God is merciful.
(Note: I wrote this is 2010 and updated today.)