Desolation and Emptiness

But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, and owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation and the plumb line of emptiness. ~Isaiah 34:11

According to, chaos means “a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.” Many of our lives are chaotic on the inside where the world is not privy to see. On the outside we do a bang up job at keeping up appearances. If people only knew how sometimes I feel like the young girl in the movie Poltergeist, they would give a serious side eye. However, there are days when it seems things are in such disarray that I cannot focus or catch my breath, but am instead pulled in millions of different directions. Oftentimes, the life of a single mom is beyond hectic because of all the demands placed on us. My spirit reminds me of those times when I just need to be still and get in God’s presence. Then the tug in my spirit to call my attention to those things that bring about chaos; none of them are good.

In the Old Testament there are quite a few animals that were considered unclean. The Israelites were given strict instructions about those things they could and couldn’t eat or touch even. Among those animals were certain birds; pelicans, owls and ravens were included on that list. Pelicans are savages (in the vernacular of this generation) in that they’re not satisfied just eating fish, frogs and crabs. Nope! This species of birds is called “an opportunistic feeder” that also eats lizards, lobster, and smaller fish they drown first. An owl’s diet is pretty much the same and we know that ravens are known to nibble on carcasses, rodents, garbage and prey on other birds. Even though a hedgehog is a different kind of animal, it eats the same things pelicans, owls and ravens do. All of those animals have another thing in common…they gladly dwell in desolate places.

A Light in the Darkness

As a believer, we are supposed to be the light in this dark world, however, all too often, we allow this world to take us to some dark, desolate and chaotic places. In those places, people who mean us no inherent good prey on us. They swoop in to steal, kill and destroy us as they are about the enemy’s business (John 10:10). When we are removed from God, we start treading water and freaking out like Peter did. No sooner than we take our eyes off of God and neglect studying His Word, all pandemonium breaks out and you become like I was: head spiraling out of control and spewing the things of this world. BUT, when we run back into the presence of God, “He calms the chaotic storm to a whisper (Psalm 107:29).” No matter how dark those topsy-turvy moments are, God is always right there to calm us down as a loving father would (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Although God loves us and will hide us in the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91:4), we should be ever so mindful that He gave us freewill and allows turbulence to shake us in order to get our attention (Job 1:12). Encompassed in that freewill is the choice to get caught up in the whirlwinds of life without a life jacket (God’s grace and mercy). When we allow life to consume us and turn our world upside down, the outcome is always darkness. That is when God sits back and looks on with a heavy heart as the plumb lines of confusion and emptiness cause utter CHAOS in our lives.

Life Without God is Desolate

Do you remember the flashback scene from the Avengers Infinity War movie of a more vibrant and fruitful existence before Thanos’ greed created a dank, dismal world? That’s how our life is when we become disengaged from God. Run back to Him so destruction doesn’t overtake you by way of failed relationships, unfulfilling jobs, ill-mannered and tempered children, the puppy you can’t seem to potty train, that toddler who colored on the walls with a marker, that back biting co-worker who spreads gossip like wild fire, that cheating spouse, death of a loved one, unemployment, etc.

Allow God to become the nucleus of your world so He can speak to the discord trying to grip you up in its gnarled hands (Isaiah 26:3). Tell the devil he cannot have what God has given you or the future He has promised you (Matthew 16:23; Jeremiah 29:11). In the midst of chaos, be still and know that God is right there with you (Psalm 46:10).


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Denise Frank
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  1. Sarah Robinson on June 29, 2018 at 7:31 AM

    You’ve highlighted how to handle the chaos and more; keeping Christ-centered renews our minds and resets the balance we do desperately need.

  2. Jen on June 29, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    I always appreciate your scripture-filled posts, Denise. So much truth in this post. Thank you!

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