2019-04-23- Peaceful Trust
Isaiah 26:3 (Tree of Live Version) You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Like others across the United States, our area was under has been under several tornado watches recently, and one warning on a Sunday morning. It was very. nervewracking for Richard and myself, especially since I needed to be at church, to play the piano! We didn’t want to leave Shiloh alone in what could be deadly weather, and we also wanted to all be together if it turned out to be our last moments on Earth. We stayed up all night, watching the incoming weather. It was one of the most frightening weekends that we have experienced in about a decade. I know that if you took our blood pressure, it would have been higher than usual. It was hard to focus on normal activities. A tornado touched down 10 minutes away, and it was quite frightening.
But at one point in this weather monitoring, we looked over at Shiloh. She was playing with something that was a toy for her. She looked so content, even though dangerous weather was approaching and she is very sick (Congestive Heart Failure dating back to the advanced case of heartworms she had before the Humane Society found her living on the streets). Now, even though she is the smartest dog that we have ever owned, naturally she doesn't understand everything that we do. But dogs do have a sensitivity to barometric pressure, and she knows that she has a serious cough now.Yet she just played so happily, and she had such a sweet expression of peace and contentment on her face. While living on crime-ridden streets, while trying to survive on scraps she could find, not being able to sleep soundly because of dangers around her, totally blind in both eyes, she had a horrible and insecure life. But now, she feels safe here, because she has learned that we will love her and will look out for her. She has peaceful, unconditional trust in us.
That is how we should feel about God, but for us, it is sometimes easier said than done. I have lost count of how many times that I have read verses saying that God will gives us peaceful sleep (Psalms 4:8), that we should leave our worries with God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) etc. That sounds easy, when you are having a quiet devotional time, or listening to a message by your pastor. It is easy to say those words to someone else, when it isn't your own life. But when you are waiting on a tornado that might take your and your loved ones’ lives or your home, when you have just received a frightening medical diagnosis or lost your job, that is not so easy to do. But this isn't a surprise to our Creator. God knew that we would feel this way; that is why He gave us these passages in His word.
When we don’t feel the peace that Christ described, we must still pray for God’s help. We must continue to read the related Bible passages. Some have found that God will use a new version (to them) of the Bible to speak to them in a fresh way. Sometimes, it is of benefit to read books about the stories of others in trying situations, whose faith sustained them. With time, we will grow in faith and peace, but we will always have slip-ups. However, even when we don’t feel at peace, we must “keep on keepin’ on,” to use a phrase from an earlier decade.
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.