They say a writer should write every day whether he has a paying client or not. It hones the skill to a great degree. For a Christian writer it’s much the same, but also completely different.
When I write it’s usually late at night, often between 1am and 3am. There’s no distractions except the quiet breathing of my wife and the occasional nuzzle from one of the dogs looking for attention.
My life is in a state of great upheaval at the moment. We’ve been hit in the last five years by the heaviest blows I’ve ever experienced as a Christian, all starting from within a week of me beginning to write. First there was poor health, then family members diagnosed with terminal illness. Financial struggles, the upheaval of moving home, new neighbours who were less than friendly (and still are).
In short there has been chaos.
Normally I’m comfortable in chaos. Four years ago following the loss of a job through stress I finally found a psychiatrist who could answer the question I’ve been asking for thirty years: with an IQ so high, why do I fail to perform? What’s wrong with me?
That was a question I’ve struggled with as long as I can remember. The answer? “David: you suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.”
ADD is a “silent” illness in adults – especially ones my age (40+). I grew up being told I was lazy and untidy. Employers told me I was disorganised. Eventually I decided I needed to be self-employed to survive. Now even that is too much for me because the business has expanded and I’m no longer mentally capable of maintaining the focus I need to do the job. But at least I know why.
In the middle of all the chaos I’ve had to learn to find peace.
Technically my wife is terminally ill. She is in remission, controlled by medication, but the illness has a 100% mortality rate.
For over two years neither of us could work and our financial stability fell apart despite God placing some amazing people around us to support us.
Our new business hinges on my being able to perform as manager – which I’m failing at – and her ability to do her part, which is hard because f what we’re going through.
So I write. I don’t keep everything I write, and I certainly don’t post it here or anywhere else usually.
Tonight I felt I had to, that there is someone out there who needs to know it’s alright to be different: God still has a plan for you.
I choose to write late at night because it’s the time I can hear God most clearly. Maybe for you it’s while you’re washing the car or vacuuming the living room. Whatever that place is, find it every day.
Spend time with Jesus every day. Preferably in the Bible. I have the New Testament recorded on CD and transferred onto my MP3 player so I can have time hearing the Word, because Faith comes by hearing. I listen to it some nights, others I listen to recorded sermons or devotionals. But every night I fight the chaos and drive it out to find a space for peace.
It’s odd the way my body works. I take three different sedatives to help me sleep, and if I don’t, I can’t sleep. But they don’t knock me out cold. It’s 2am here as I’m writing and I took the “sleeping” pills at around 10:30pm. Any one on it’s own should render me unconscious in less than half an hour. All they do for me is to slow the pace at which my mind runs.
But this is a Blessing for me. By slowing me down I can more easily hear God’s voice when I pray. I’m not in a rush to finish the prayer.
I find Peace.
The chaos in my life will not go away quickly. Some of it may never go away, and some of it will need a miracle greater than I currently have the strength to believe for to overcome, but God gives me the gift of peaceful sleep, even if it’s only two or three hours some nights.
Peace in the midst of Chaos.
Christ in the middle of the Storm.
Every night He invites me to step out of the boat and walk on the water with Him. Some nights I can, some I can’t. But when I can’t, I call out to Him and He comes to me and comforts me. Like a warm blanket on a cold evening I feel my spirit wrapped up in His Love and I receive Peace.
The chaos will probably never go away. The World hates those who truly try to follow Christ because we truly seek to follow Him. I expect to be involved in daily battles. I expect to win them day to day because Jesus is with me and He has overcome the World.
But a battlefield is chaos.
I visited the battlefields in France as a child where so many young men died in the trenches of World War One. There are places where the front lines are so close together you can hold a conversation with someone standing opposite, and certainly where a 90lb wimp could throw a grenade far enough to land in the trench opposite. The landscape is filled with craters and unexploded munitions a hundred years old that can still go off. People still die on the Flanders Fields long after the guns have been silenced. Even in the aftermath of that war, the battlefields are chaotic.
Then there are places in the middle of the battlefields. Cemeteries of German and British/Allied troops. In the middle of the horror of the reality you walk through to reach them, there is peace in the middle of the chaos.
Christ offers us that. The stability of a Spiritual Peace that goes beyond our comprehension in the middle of the worst situations we can imagine, He can bring Peace if we will let Him.
My wife struggles to find peace. Living with me is not easy. ADD sufferers are generally not easy to live with, and I have a habit of not dealing well with stress. Chaos invariably follows.
I take myself out of the situation so she can seek some Peace in her way with God, and I can seek it in my way.
Finding peace in chaos is hard to do, I won’t lie about it. It requires a discipline that, frankly, I’m ill-equipped to follow through on. But I persevere. I need that Peace that only Christ can give.
This entry is more personal than meditation in nature.
I hope it can Bless you to know just two things:
1) It’s never too late to stop and invite Jesus in to bring Peace in the chaos of your life
2) You’re not alone.
Feel free to write to me if you’d like me to pray for you to stand in agreement with you to see Peace passing all comprehension fill both our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of Jesus. The Peace-Giver.