“Stayed” - November 4, 2020
“You keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on you, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3 (ESV, adapted)
This week we received news that a dear friend of ours had a reoccurrence of cancer. It’s the kind of news that sinks your heart. We all know of people (or are ourselves) in a crisis of some kind. Some of us have lost a dear one to death in the recent past or within the last year. Some of us are journeying with seniors in steep decline in overall health and well-being. Some of us feel we are walking on the edge as we reflect on the concerns of family, friends, work or the world.
Our friend recited a verse her older brother shared in a recent phone call. She had heard it so often as a child that it had become almost too familiar, bordering on cliché. But hearing it now, so many years later and in this crisis context, it grabbed her attention in a fresh way.
“You keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on you, because they trust in you." Whatever means of finding our way through unnerving times, Isaiah holds up a simple strategy of keeping our minds focused, fixed, stayed on God. It is right along the lines of Hebrew 12:2 "Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." (GNT)
The prophet Isaiah spoke during a time of great upheaval for God’s people. He observed that beyond critical or painful times, those who trusted God and fixed their attention on God could anticipate a peace so deep, that it can only be described through repetition. The literal translation of our English phrase ‘perfect peace’ is peace-peace. Keeping one’s mind stayed on God results in shalom-shalom. It is the ultimate and grounded peace that comes to us through the Risen Lord Jesus Christ who regularly invites us to commune with him.
PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: Dear God, thank you that you have shown us the path to the peace that passes all understanding through Jesus Christ. May your Spirit give us shalom-shalom, peace-peace. AMEN.
Link to a communion song “Alleluia Sing” which gives voice to a plea for peace. (“Alleluia, sing a song of peace to me.”) It is offered by The Porter’s Gate.