Conntecting the Dots

Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos

Finding calm in the midst of chaos is hard to do sometimes. When I’m in a tough situation, my thoughts tend to flit from one thing to another, bouncing between what’s happened, what could happen, and what needs to happen. In order to respond to the challenge well, I have to continually bring my thoughts back to a safe place where peace and clarity reign.

I find encouragement in knowing I’m not the only person who has to do this. The psalmist did it, too. Psalm 57:7 is one example of how he did so. He wrote, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.”

Theologians believe David wrote these words while hiding in a cave, possibly when King Saul was hunting him.

The chapter opens with David asking twice for God to have mercy on him. He confesses that his trust is in God alone and that he chooses to find refuge under His wings from the calamity he faces. Then he describes his desperate situation to God using three visuals. finding calm in the midst of chaos

First, the psalmist says he’s among lions. It seems he felt that his enemies were much stronger than him and ready to pounce on and devour him. Second, he says he lies among men who have been set on fire. Fire is an element that consumes everything in its path. From this, it appears that he feels helpless to escape unscathed. Third, he refers to men’s words about him as military equipment – swords, spears, and arrows. Men were out to kill his reputation.

David knew chaos up close and personal.

He felt helpless, alone, weary from distress, and no doubt, afraid. But at this point he reeled his thoughts in and brought them back to a place that offered calm in the midst of chaos. Perhaps he’d been sitting in the cave’s cold, dark shadows but now he comes to the entrance…to the light…and he looks up toward the heavens. As he does so, he bursts into praise.

David declares to God that his heart is fixed. Nowadays we refer to our heart as being the centre of our emotions. We love from our heart. But it meant more in the original Hebrew language. It meant the centre of thought processes and reasoning as well. So David is declaring to God that the centre of his thought processes and reasoning are fixed on Him—not on the visuals—the lions, the fire, and the military weapons all bent on destroying him.

That word “fixed” in some Bible versions reads as “confident” or “steadfast” or even “prepared.” In the original language, it meant to stand erect. No wavering. No leaning. The fact that David said it twice—“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed,”—shows his absolute determination to keep his thoughts where they needed to be so he could stand firm and not waver when in that tough situation, hiding in a cave.

Here’s something that brings so much hope – when David fixes his heart on God, he sees far beyond the cave. By faith, he envisions himself thanking God among the people and singing praise among the nations.

A cave is a dark, confined and sometimes smelly space, but from that place David praises God for His unfailing love that reaches as high as the heavens and for His faithfulness that reaches to the skies. He doesn’t wait until he leaves the cave, until he’s so far removed that it’s only a distant memory. He praises there, on the spot, and he’s able to do so because he fixes his heart on God.

Life leads all of us to caves at some time or other.

We may wake up in the cave of a medical diagnosis that upends us. We might land in the cave of betrayal, or financial hardship, or unfulfilled expectations. When life leads us into a cold, lonely, shadowed place, let’s remember David’s example. He was there not for any fault of his own but because God allowed it for some reason.

How easy it would have been for David to blame God or question God’s intent toward him. Instead, he poured out his heart to the Lord and then acknowledged his trust in Him. Fixing his heart on God’s character—namely His unfailing love and faithfulness—filled David with confidence, courage, and hope for a good outcome under God’s control.

No matter what hard situation we face, let’s fix our heart on God and praise Him there. Fixing our heart on God leads us to a safe place, a place where peace and clarity reign, a place where we find calm in the midst of chaos.

May I pray for you today? “God, we praise You today for Your unfailing love that’s as high as the heavens and for Your faithfulness that reaches the clouds. It’s easy to praise You in this way when things are going well, but not so much when we end up in a cave. Please remind us then that the truth of who You are never changes. You are worthy of all our praise no matter what our circumstances look like. Help us fix our hearts on You, for that’s when we find calm in the chaos. In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you or someone you love is in the midst of chaos today, pick up a copy of the award-winning Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. The book’s 90 daily meditations will remind you of God’s presence and promises and will help lead you to a place of peace, clarity, and calm. Available wherever Christian books are sold.


finding hope amidst crisis

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)