Order, Chaos, and Free Will

by Lynn "lynnibug" Rios on July 3rd, 2015
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Dora Vanderlaan

In honor of Dora Vanderlaan

February 22,1919 to June 20,2015

I awoke on the morning of June 20, 2015 in a restless state.  I had not slept well.  Over and over, like waves rolling in at the beach, my mind kept going through the cycle,

Order, chaos, and free will…


God created a perfect universe out of nothing. That the universe is perfect is undeniable, from the balance of nature here on earth to the rhythm and movement of the stars in the sky, it plays like a symphony without error, until we introduce ourselves into the equation.


Just as mankind has dotted the beautiful, self-regenerating earth with islands of filth and squalor, so have we introduced the space around our planet to the junk and leftovers of our attempts to reach beyond. We tend to bring chaos with us wherever we go, and the only reason for it appears to be, because we can.

Free Will

Yes, it all comes down to free will. God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us free will to live His way or our own way, and we in our infinite ignorance, continue to create chaos as we try to force our vision of how things should be on others. As I began to consider this, I began to understand that this one dynamic is at the root of all of the problems in the world around us, and wherever we go, no matter how benign our intentions, we will take the chaos with us.

So now that I have jumped down this rabbit hole, I find myself questioning God’s wisdom…

Free will does not sound like such a great idea after all!

We just can’t handle it! Not the Christians, not the Muslims, not the Republicans or Democrats, not the Zionists, not the Colonialists or the Imperialists or even the Isolationists. What was God thinking?!

Well, I will not presume to know God’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), but I believe His word (Isaiah 55:10-11), and so in faith, I prayed for understanding, and the answer I was given was right in front of me all the time (Isaiah 55:12-13). I love the way He takes me to that questioning place and allows me to re-center myself in Him, even when the questions I have spring from my own unbelief. Now the point of this article has become not what He showed me, but how He showed me.

I simply wanted a scriptural reference to express my humility in not presuming to know God’s thoughts, so I went to a verse I was intimately familiar with, and then beyond.

8 “For my thoughts (order) are not your thoughts (chaos), neither are your ways (chaos) my ways (order),” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts…”

As I caught sight of the next two verses, He reminded me to pray for an answer.

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it…”

Even in our chaos, His order and perfection are evident, and only through the veil of our own chaos are we able to begin to understand the depth of His perfection.  Through that understanding, we receive the gracious promise, the gift He has given us, the future He holds for us when we are finally released into His keeping as the creatures He always intended us to be.

12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

It was at this point that my thoughts were re-directed to Dora Vanderlaan, and to the loving family that surrounded and supported her as she journeyed through her final days with us. All the family could do was keep her as comfortable as possible, and be with her. She had not always known the Lord, but now she does. She had not always given Him praise, but in her final months with us she praised him loudly and often. I have been reminded as I write this, what a glorious place she has gone to, and I rejoice that God gave her free will, and that she found her way through it, back to Him.  Dora peacefully left us to return to the Fathers house on June 20, 2015 at the age of 96.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Categories: My Personal Journey, Wisdom Journeys

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