Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

God puts the “Order” in “Disorder”

“Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations.” (Deut. 32:7a)

Understanding our past… our roots… the reasons why – are important. Not only does it help us to understand our present, but it helps us to make proper adjustments for the future.

Sometimes I wonder if God just looks at me and says… “Really?”

You know, here we are all grown up and when I talk with my youngest child, my heart breaks to hear her struggles. But no more than when she was trying to walk and would get so frustrated that she would just concede defeat and plop down hard on the ground and cry. The first boyfriend breakup. The move to Texas, the difficulties of an unplanned (well…) unmarried new, young mother, and now – the typical struggles of a young marriage and a trying two-year old…

One of the downsides to not remembering your past – is that you will repeat it. God gives us reminders of how difficult life is without Him – Those are the “thorns in our side” that will never go away – they remind us, like Paul tells us, that God’s “grace is sufficient.”

But that’s hard to remember when your knee-deep in circumstance – and refuse to get on your knees.

But my daughter expressed another heartbreaking feeling when I was Skyping with her the other night – the feeling that God just did not care about her anymore.

And that crushed me.

Mostly because we inherit that feeling from our parents – and this was my daughter feeling unworthy and hurt. It was my daughter seeing God her father through a lens of her father – first the abandonment of her biological father, followed by an abusive alcoholic father and currently stoked by an overbearing and manipulative grandmother/father team –

I remembered feeling the very same way as my little girl… so I did have something to give back to her. I told her about my own prideful behavior (past and present) when my world falls apart, it is because I am out-of-order. God’s order… I try to make things go the way I want them to, because society says this or that… because I want to covet what I do not have, or I have created an idol in my head that represents “god” or what my husband should be, or what my “job” should be, or what my bank account should be…. So at this moment, instead of looking at God and what He says…. I look at the circumstances and get overwhelmed and then everything begins to unravel and unwind and then I lose control and my whole world is out-of-order –

You can’t say anything to make me feel better, I can’t do anything I don’t want to do anything, I don’t even think I like my dog right now….

Sound familiar?

It did to her too.

My husband immediately knows what the problem is. Once. Just once…. Because that was all it took… He asked me how long it had been since I had studied God’s word.

Not read a Psalms… or a Proverb… but dive in, both feet… Study until answers appear….

Write about it (my way of talking it out)  Let God in… come to know HIM. Not who we think He is – but who He says He is.

And frankly that jerked a knot in my little spiritual neck and I realized that God had given me the “desire of my heart,” and just let me be…. All up in my self-pity party…. Abusive mother, “I thought God loved me!” … abusive Husband, “Seriously God!”… Book rejection, “how could you…” desperate for attention, “kids are so freaking entitled… brats….” Another cancelled client, “really God? Where are you! You don’t care!”

“God Hates Me!”

Yeah, I think I knew exactly how my baby felt… feels.

She was missing a little truth with that grace she so desperately wanted.

The fact is that God’s love for her, me, you… is unconditional and that He does indeed care, but… along with His never-ending grace is truth.

So I had to remind her that if her hurt, bitter, angry and yes… twenty-stupid mother could make it through her twenties – then she could too, and that what she is learning now – the tools that God is putting into her tool belt is going to carry her through the rest of her life – Its called sanctification.

And that mainly to learn this: God is who puts the order in disorder and the best part is that He keeps it there until He grants permission for anything to be moved, rearranged, or even scooted off to the side.

And that includes giving you, me and my daughter our “heart’s desire,” to throw our temper tantrums.

I was hard-headed and hard-hearted too… And that always makes it so difficult.

God promises us over and over that, “If we… then He….” you know the “Faith without works is dead,” part of our sanctification?

But we don’t like the “If we” part – We want grace without truth…. and that is not justice– so therefore it is not God.

Something happens to us when we are young our brain doesn’t work right, we forget all that God’s grace has already been bestowed upon us… It also happens when we gain too much too fast, or when we become “Successful” and therefore we don’t need God anymore… or we have been handed everything so we are entitled – Or we are like a hamster on the wheel of life going nowhere so we blame God.

Its call pride. It’s called Idolatry. Let’s be real. It is the human nature called sin and we forget how dependent on God we are.

But what is worse, we forget our purpose… and like Israel, we wander in the desert moaning and groaning, griping and complaining.

We forget, all too easy the promises that God has given. We forget all that He has done and most certainly, as my beautiful daughter was reminded… we forget all that He has brought us through – and we forget where we are going.

There’s a song out right now that is just hysterical. It’s by Country new comer Chris Janson- “Buy me a boat,” (you can listen to it here)….  The reason I think the song is so stinking funny is that for this time in season, the Obama administration has absolutely sucked the life out of this country – and this song gives us a really good dose of reality – Money cannot buy happiness – for sure! But it can buy me a boat… and it can buy me a truck to pull it with…

And that’s truth. It can. Look – money is all fine and dandy and has really great benefits – and it is not a sin to have money! After all, it is what pays the bills. But the love of money is what is sinful – that also, is truth.

God gives us truth every single day.

Life is hard. God is good.


And everyday, God is good.

So what now?

Take a step back and remember what God has done. The promises that He has made.

RC Sproul reminds us to establish “Our theology from the Word of God, not from what we feel.”

We have to take a step back from our lives, from the chaos, from the problems and circumstances and ask God to show us life from His perspective.

Most likely it’s because we have gotten our lives out-of-order that we feel most chaotic. We have allowed the messy circumstances to overwhelm and take control of our minds – But God can change that – Remember when He…. Did… gave… protected… guarded… brought you…

Maybe you don’t remember – Maybe you have forgotten that the reason you are alive right at this moment is because God has allowed your heart to beat.

Start there.

Then, take a trip back to the beginning when God took the disorder of the universe and put the planets into orbit – when He made the sun and the moon, when He hung each and every star – and made all the really cool little creatures and creepy crawly things…

Then He made man. In His image. (Image: the reflection, likeness, resemblance of).

But unlike anything and everything else that was made – This was done by breathing His very own breath into him… Then the woman – unlike the female animals – she was hand crafted and presented to her man.

And even after sin disrupted life God sent His own son to die in our place – a very long, painful death.

And if you require more than the Gospel truth of Christ’s life, death and resurrection – Then your life is most certainly out-of-order.

Because life is not about you. It is about Him. All for His glory and His honor. That is why we are here and sometimes, life is tough. But that doesn’t mean He has forgotten you, or doesn’t care about you He is simply waiting it out.

Waiting on you.

He has never moved from His Holiness.

I hear a lot of people profess to “know” God…. My question is does God know you? Well, you really should get to know Him – I mean – HIM… who He really is- not just what you might think He is – or what you have heard or read about Him on some blog either –

Let God put your life back in order – His order – After all, He’s got the keys to the boat and the truck to pull it with – Grace is available through faith – but faith without works is dead and that is Truth and it is all found in Jesus Christ for He is the Word.

One comment on “God puts the “Order” in “Disorder”

  1. Andrew
    May 14, 2015

    “Knee-deep in circumstance” – that’s a great phrase !

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