Peace

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.

One thought on “Peace

  1. Jenn … I write prayers. A LOT. Thousands. Just two minutes before reading this post, I finished a prayer for a good friend whose name is Jen (with one N … yeah interesting). I will adjust it a tiny bit so I can share it with you now:

    First I thanked our Heavenly Father for something (private for this) and for the Scripture for her prayer this day:

    Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 PHILLIPS)

    Phillips seems to be the translation on my mind lately, but also look at the same Scripture using one of my favorite translations … years ago, when it was first published, I actually grabbed it off the shelf and hugged it when I found it at Borders Book Store (or was it Barnes & Noble?)

    Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One. (Philippians 4:6-7 VOICE)

    Lord, I am back and I am anxious to pray for my special friend Jen, who loves you so much. Of all the time that I have known her it seemed obvious that she loved you Lord. And she knows that you love her. But knowing in her mind is different than in her heart. I ask that you fill her heart with your love in a way that she knows you are there… that she knows your love for her in both her head and heart. Lord, I have a second thing to ask. I ask that you find a way for Jen to acknowledge that you are her guardian… that you are watching over her… and that she can call out to you at any time, day or night, in private or in public… and you will not only hear her, but also race to her side as her strong but loving guardian. Lord, fill her with your peace. And together we give you the glory. The glory is all yours Lord. GLORY! I pray and ask this in the name and authority of Christ Jesus, King of kings. Amen.

    Like

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