Out of the Whirlwind

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Alex being tackle hugged by the Littles at Camp Hope!

God spoke into the chaos of the universe to bring forth life and order into existence. Chaos is not in the characteristics of God. In the beginning the Earth was without form and void as Genesis 1:2 teaches us. Darkness was the only thing in the midst of the universe.“The spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” God was in the darkness so that He might speak and bring forth life and order into this grand world that we know. Despite the knowledge that we have of this, our lives are still messy and chaotic. Chaos after creation is a byproduct of the fall of man. Chaos is all that we grow up experiencing in this life. Divorce, depression, rejection, and death are all just different ways that life reveals to everyone that this world is not ordered. Something inside of us screams knowing that this isn’t how it should be. Dietrich Bonhoeffer loosely states that death reveals to us that life is not as it should be.

After 4 weeks of camp I’ve began to pray for the chaos that has developed inside of my class room. At first I was blown away by the amount of disorder that these kids brought with them in the classroom. When I say disorder, I do not mean to say trouble per se. Mostly they are just 6 and 7 year old kids who desire to just run and play as much as they can. It slowly began to consume them to the point that they started to ignore me and other adults. They wanted to play and they would ignore us if it meant they could continue to have fun. At first I began to slowly be discouraged by how chaotic they were and how little they would listen. I want to share with them the Gospel of Christ, yet they merely want to run around playing tag, getting upset with everyone, desiring to punch the kid that said your hair looked stupid, or simply do whatever they want when they want.

One day I began to pray that God would just help me to know the right way to deal with the kids and to keep them orderly. In the moment, God showed me the reality that their entire life is living in a life that is full of uncertainty and chaos. The few hours that I have those kids are the few hours that they have the ability to forget about the lives in which they live. I started praying that the kids would be a chaos in my life so that they could escape the chaos of their lives for just a few hours. The amount of energy that I lose, the frustration I feel at times, and the tears that start to come up as I hear a kid tell me they never want to come back because I am mean is completely worth if for just those few hours I can intercept their chaotic life and simply let them be kids while I teach and show them the love of God. The Lord has changed my perspective of the kids since this prayer began to be a part of my life. I get the chance to interrupt their lives and be an example of the Gospel of Christ.

This all has reminded me of Job who was a man who was stricken of serious illness, stripped of all possessions, and grieved over the loss of his entire family. This story of the Bible is taught often since its the story that depicts a great man of God dealing with the problem of evil and suffering. It really teaches about all of our lives and the grief and misery that we see all around us. What is often spoken of so little is how God responds to Job’s questions in the story. Job 38:1 says, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind.” As Job is pulling out these questions from the deepest reaches of his heart, and God is found in the midst of this storm of his life. God is not found to be far off in the eternal realms of Heaven removed from Job’s predicament. God spoke out of the whirlwind. God was in the midst of Job’s misery and intercepting it.

Fast forward to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was God in human flesh. This moment in history is marked by the fact that God decided to finally descend into our messy life to offer redemption for us out of this world. Jesus paid the price for us as we’ve been taught through scripture.

The nature of the Gospel is the mere fact that God entered our messy, chaotic world to redeem, save, and offer hope out of our situation. God is in the business of entering the depths of chaos, misery, and death to merely us offer a way out. He is in the business of saving people from that. This is why God is never shocked by the horrors of this world. He is in the midst of it all breathing life and creating new life through the ultimate work of Jesus Christ.

Now to tie this all back to the kids. I’ve learned that I have the capacity to be a part of the chaos that these kids live in to simply show them hope that there is something greater than the life they know. I may not have the capacity to change their situations, but I can show them the God who is in the business of creating new life. One girl in my class often tells me how she wants to play because, “I never get to play when I go home.” How depressing is it that a child lacks the ability to simply be a kid because of their family situation, community problems, or whatever else is their to get in the way. This is why I pray to be a part of the chaos that they live in because God is the one he speaks in the middle of it all to bring about a new creation.

I want to intercept them in the middle of their worries and woes just like Christ constantly interjects in the midst of my world to merely speak life in a decaying, dying world. This is the heart of God. This is the hope of God. This is what these kids need.

– Alex

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