Before I went to sit on a bucket by a stream, I read a Bible verse that has been stuck in my head ever since…
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again — what receives our attention is OUR choice. We decide where our focus goes.
I was so glad I read this verse before my recent hike to Table Rock. Along that journey, there were many things that tried to grab my attention. I just kept saying this verse in my head. I must have recited it about 100 times.
It was extremely comforting.
It helps to know that there is a causal relationship between focusing on God and receiving perfect peace. God promises that trusting in him will bring about peace. It may not bring about a perfect life, but it will bring about perfect peace.
What do I mean by that?
Well, let me go back to my hiking example. There were MANY points of pain along the hike up to Table Rock. There was exhaustion, sweat and soreness. But as I continued to recite the words of Isaiah 26:3 in my head, there was also peace. Reciting that verse wasn’t magical — the pain did not go away. But I had peace knowing that God had it under control.
Oh, and the hike was totally worth it — check out the views!
This verse also reminds me of the stream that ran past my new favorite bucket, one I hope that I get to sit on again. That stream was peaceful. It was calming.
I think it’s because I met with God there.
The funny thing is, the stream itself isn’t peaceful at all. In fact, it’s noisy and quite busy.
The peacefulness comes from sitting next to the stream in the presence of God. Funny, that’s exactly what Isaiah 26:3 is talking about.
It’s nice to know that my life doesn’t have to be peaceful for me to have peace. God’s given me the blueprint. Now it’s time to follow.
Right now, I’m on vacation. It’s easy to have peace while you’re on vacation. Today, my day has been filled by spending time with family and friends, resting, reading and writing. Pretty good day, huh?
Yeah, it’s been great! But it sure doesn’t look like my regular day back home. That’s not a bad thing. But I have to realize that my peace cannot be dependent on my circumstances. That’s a recipe for disaster.
But Isaiah 26:3 doesn’t say anything about circumstances, does it?
All it says is to keep our minds on God if we’re looking for peace. That sounds simple right? In theory, it should be. But just look at the story of the Apostle Peter, and you’ll find it isn’t always so simple.
You’ve probably heard about Jesus walking on water. Peter did too…for a while. Then he took his focus off of Jesus and he began to sink. You can read the account for yourself…
Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 14:22-33 - New International Version
Jesus Walks on the Water - Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other…
It’s easy for us to quickly denounce Peter’s actions. He should have focused! Why did he take his eyes off of Jesus?!
Hold up, we do the exact same thing. Probably every day.
I’m not going to be naive enough to scoff at Peter when I know I have reacted the same way. What I will do is say that I want to start making changes. I want to start living with a focus on God.
I want to start living in perfect peace.
I know it won’t be easy, and I’m certainly not saying that I’m going to be perfect. But I’ll keep thinking about Isaiah 26:3. God says that He’ll take care of the rest.
I know I can trust Him.
Aaron Charles is a writer and marketing account executive from Indiana. You can connect with him on Twitter, Medium or Instagram. Aaron and his wife Sarah run a Medium publication called Cooking With Sarah that documents their weekly cooking adventures.
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