Former Things: An Account of Christianity in Chaos

Post published as written: September 21, 2020

“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

This year has been nothing short of chaos. The rumors of war, the recent light cast on so many vile things in our country can do much to unrest our hearts. I write today with a great amount of unease. I am weighed down today with personal struggles, the heavy weight of duty bears on my shoulders in a way that it often does when this season comes around.

The other day I was joking with my fiancé about my yearly tendency to implode my life around my birthday. This year was different, however. For the first time since I became an adult, I didn’t seek to destroy what I’ve made of my own life, but it was the world that sought to destroy me. Between the quarantine, and murder hornets, the death of George Floyd which provoked the protests and riots, and the subsequent banter between the President and the opposition proceeding the next round of shutdowns, I have become something that brings a sour taste to my lips.

At the subjugation of the world around me, I have fallen uncertain. Worried for the future and the present, afraid for my fellow man and though I feel these things and the weight of the world bears down on my heart today I am pleased and affirmed in the knowledge that I am protected.

This year has been a hard year, incidentally, to study my bible and maintain a close relationship with God. I’ve been at home and without stable internet for over 100 days now, and in that time, I’ve played and fully completed a number of video games as well as notched up my reading list to seven novels or so. Currently working through them two at a time. I have rewritten a novel, which in this new edition I have doubled the length. I have worked tirelessly to restructure my entire life to affix my writing as a stable portion of my day, I’ve begun a D&D campaign, planned two more and have carved out time to work, and exercise.

Still, despite this overgrowth of free time I have sought The Word less, feasted upon the notion of worldliness more and as a result have succumbed to the despair of a life without the constant reassurance that God is with us.

It is in these times that I am most thankful, that the Word of God is not dependent on how I feel or what I think. It is there, and it displays clearly what it displays. I am glad that in these uncertain times I am blessed beyond measure to know Jesus and feel His love. Love which bestows upon me confidence that nothing can break me. Nothing can end me. I am eternal because He loves me. The trials of today are incomparable to the joy of tomorrow.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:8 ESV

I see the world today and am entangled in feelings, rejoicing in the victories of my brothers and sisters, and filled with sorrow at the ever present darkness. Yet those battles to me are so much less important than the inner conflict that still presides in us all.

We seek still amid the chaos to be good men and women, to be good brothers and sons, sisters and daughters. We seek to be good parents and teachers, and leaders. Yet we wonder together, in our own separate minds where the path has gone. Recently in speaking with a coworker, we were talking about the fear of a second shutdown and what it will do to our little town. Businesses will close, livelihoods will be lost, and we affirmed that each of us are feeling this great pressure in different measures. We are lost to the next step, without true direction from our Governor, and we have watched our President change his words about the pandemic and people are scared, rightfully so. Yet in this time where we are all feeling the same pangs of loneliness and fear, we are desperately clinging to the ravings of conspiracy and confusion. We have set our sights on the haves and the have nots, the respect and disobedience.

Our minds have alit with the idealism of growth and decay and we have entangled the two of them, unable to separate what is and what is yet to come.

Ever since I was a boy, I’ve loved reading Revelation in the Bible, the horrific images of the end of days have always entertained me, inspiring the seed of fear and wonder that has since grown into the tree of storytelling I now embrace so fully, but within, tucked away are bits and pieces of a larger story. A story about victory, that we so often overlook.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4 ESV

As I searched for an answer to the chaos and the confusion, I was led to this verse. Tucked away in the story of the final, perfect victory and I wanted to share it to you. You who are like me, afraid and uncertain, worried and anxious. There are a great many things that we are seeing today that have been happening for years, yet we have been distracted and concerned only with ourselves. It is human nature, of course. What is within us is much more important to each of us than what is outside of us. The despair of a struggling marriage is much more difficult a challenge to the husband and wife than it is to the children or friends. The frustration of the coming unknown is much worse to those who are unsecure.

But if I have learned anything from my youth, in my many readings of Revelation, I have learned one thing above all, that God is with us. We have no need to fear a dragon, a four headed beast, or the end of the world.

I will be saved.
I am saved.

Before I let you return to your day, I wanted to share with you a great fear that I have. A fear I’ve likely always had, but never knew how to manifest it.

There is a dreadful thing inside of my heart that hearkens of a future yet to be decided, it tells me that my work will be for naught, my love will have run out long before I’ve expended all of it. It promises in the dark night that when the sun rises I will be alone and afraid, that the world is too much for my heart. It promises me in my worst season, on the verge of imploding everything around me that I cannot overcome the world. I cannot defeat the evils that I see. The vague threats of this dreadful thing sing to my sinning heart and though I might know better, I listen to it call and fall once more into the awful season of trying to sabotage what I am called to do, yet, this year, without that implosion from my own actions I have learned that the dreadful thing inside of me, is inside of all of us. Whispering to you that you are not worthy to happiness or love, passing sinister secrets to each of us that the world is corrupt and wicked and immeasurable in power and yet…

I know the King.

The Carpenter who took me from my rotting shell and built for me a new home.

The Lamb who comforted me in my coldest night.

The Judge who saw fit for me to serve Him.

The Redeemer who cleansed me of my sin.

The Wonderful Counselor who listened to my broken tongue and knew most what my heart needed.

The Father who hears my cries of hurt and anguish, who sees me in my confusion and my worry and comes to comfort me.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV

I know the King, whose glory is radiant and powerful, who will not leave me, nor forsake me. I know the King, who holds me in my sorrow and reminds me that, although the world has conquered me, He has conquered the world.


If you enjoyed today’s writing please share it on whatever social media outlet you enjoy the most. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out The Grimoire of Finality where you can read all of my incoming fiction writing. (It still has that new blog smell.)

I hope something I’ve said made a difference in your life, and please always remember…

Life is not meant to be awful.

Catch me on social media if you’d like to get more info/updates on what is soon to come!

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook

@alvatobiasbooks

Salt & Iron Productions

(On Facebook)

-AT

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