Peace. If you’re like me, your soul is craving peace right now. Here in the United States, it can feel like everything is going to Hell in a handbasket. There’s so much unrest, so much turmoil. So many of us are longing for real rest.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about January of 2009. My then-husband essentially failed a routine EKG, which led to some stress tests, which led to a heart cath, which led to more tests. Then one quiet Sunday evening as we were waiting for all the medical results, I found myself rushing him to the emergency department of a nearby hospital as his heart pounded erratically and sweat poured from him. He would go on to spend a couple weeks in a couple hospitals as doctors figured out how to help his heart.
In the middle of all the uncertainty and fear, several people shared the same Bible verse with me. Scrawled on an index card that I carried with me to and from doctors’ offices and hospitals for all of January and February, that verse became the meditation of my heart and mind, the mantra that sustained me both then and the following year, when he again would teeter on the edge of life and death. The same verse wrapped around my mind, like a familiar, cozy sweater, when we divorced in 2016 and last year, when he passed away and I faced the task of comforting my children and walking through grief with them. Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Other versions say, “whose mind is stayed on You” or “whose mind is fixed on You.”
I’m not talking about closing our eyes to all the injustice and pain around us and singing kumbaya and excusing ourselves from all responsibility as we claim it’s “in the Lord’s hands now.”
No. Not that. Not at all.
As we work for justice. As we trek the righteous path. As we walk in the ways of God. We keep our minds fixed on God, trusting God to humble the lofty and avenge the oppressed, trusting God to make the righteous path smooth and establish peace.
Trusting God as we do Kingdom work – keeping our minds fixed on God, anticipating God’s justice and peace – remaining steadfast to the good works we’ve been created and equipped for — this is what will keep our minds in perfect peace.
The outcome is not dependent upon me. This is God’s work. I can serve and love and work in peace trusting God for the ultimate outcome.