Monday, May 30, 2011

perfect peace.



“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.”
 Isaiah 26:3-4

So many thoughts racing through my mind this morning. So much I want to say and I just don’t know how best to say it, so much I'm trying to think and I don't know how to even think it. As my Bible lays open before me, my Jesus speaks to my heart. He continues to pour into my soul - into my spirit - into the deep places where I long for Him. The places where He knows I MUST hear His voice to make it through another day.
“Whose mind is stayed on Him, He will keep me in perfect peace.” Because of the trust - in Him. The peace that follows trust in Jesus. THAT is the perfect peace. The prophet goes on to say for us to TRUST. TRUST in the Lord. Trust. For therein lies your strength. In my complete trust in the Lord, THAT is where not only my perfect peace lies, but also where everlasting strength resides. In my Lord.

And oh, the ways He chooses to break through my thoughts - thoughts of doubt, uncertainty, pressure, responsibility, confusion - He comes breaking through into my soul speaking the most beautiful PEACE over me. He comes this morning singing His sweet song of PEACE. Not letting me continue with the thoughts and cares of this world…but He takes me to the places of the Divine.
The place of divine peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace…
Whose mind is stayed on You”

On HIM. And Him alone.
If my mind is stayed on my Jesus, it can not possibly be stayed on the cares and concerns of this world. There is no room for worry, doubt, stress, concern in my mind, heart, and soul if my Jesus is there filling it completely up with His peace. There is no room. And I must not give it room. The only room in my soul must be for my Jesus. (by the way - a sweet blessed friend of mine calls her Savior, “my Jesus” and I absolutely fell in love with it. He is her Jesus. He is my Jesus. He is your Jesus. He is our Jesus. Because He IS Jesus. J So…just a random tidbit since I keep writing “my Jesus” not wanting to be exclusive but completely inclusive - He is “my Jesus” to everyone who will let Him be so. So, just a reminder to let Him be “my Jesus” today. Just calling Him “my Jesus” brings Him so close to my heart and draws me even closer to my Savior.)
As I come to my Jesus and pour out my concerns, my worries, my needs…and the needs of so many others…

“PEACE.”

As I try to add up figures, and draft legal documents, and deal with landlord issues, and take phone calls about more babies in need…

“PEACE.”

Oh, the cares and worries of this world that so easily come and steal our peace. But oh, and the peace He pours into us when we keep our mind on Jesus.

“You will keep him in perfect peace…
Whose mind is stayed on You”

…………..
Oliva comes in from outside and I see the tear stains.
I ask if she is ok…and immediately the tears fall fresh.
Baby on one hip, bottle in hand, I hurry to her side and wrap her in a hug with my one free arm. Through the tears she says she’s ok. I know better.
I tell her I will listen…she knows…lets go talk outside.
Five babies laughing, crying, playing, crawling all around us…and the world is still for us. This is us. She and I…and Jesus. He is there every moment.
As I wrapped my arms around this precious daughter of the King and tried to speak peace to her heart, the King wrapped His own arms around us and spoke into both of us His perfect peace. Two daughters of the Prince of Peace - sitting with hearts bleeding, wounds open, both so desperately needing to be engulfed with His love and peace.

She is now seven months pregnant.
The baby is a girl instead of the thought boy. Complications. More potential issues with family, friends, etc.
The baby grows bigger by the day…and with the growth comes more difficulties. Oliva has asthma and has had trouble with her breathing for many years. As the baby grows bigger, breathing is becoming more and more difficult…and for her, more and more scary. As we sit and talk, the worries and fears come spilling out of her.

“What if I die giving birth?”
“What if I really can’t deliver this baby and I don’t live?”
“What if I can’t breathe and my body can’t take it?”

The tears just stream down her worried face.

“What will happen to my baby if I die?”
“Who will raise and take care of her?”
“Who will tell her about me - about her mother – after I’m gone?”

The tears stream down my face.

“What if my baby dies?”
“What if she doesn’t make it?”

I hold her as we both cry.

“I’m not settled.”

This precious younger sister in Christ…staring the reality of death straight in the face.
She is having to face these fears head on. Wanting to be strong…trying to hold up…but finally letting the dam break with all that has been swarming through her mind. Needing Jesus to bring peace.
I ask myself - how does one face death? Those dying that know their time is near to leave this world? My mother called me the other day about a family friend that has been battling cancer who even now might already be with Jesus. She has been facing death. Preparing. Waiting. Expecting. Thinking…so many thoughts. Thinking about what her life has bee…the legacy she hopes she leaves behind. Thinking about her children…living life without their mother. Thinking…about her husband living the rest of his life without her. thinking…about all the fun times she will no longer be here for. Thinking…about her family walking through the difficult places without her. Thinking…about her husband and children dealing with her death after she is gone. My heart breaks for her family. Breaks for her husband. Breaks for her children. The ones she will leave behind. She is heading to heaven…to meet her Jesus. To wait for them there. The joy. The sorrow.
And I ask God “How? How do we do it? When our world is turned upside down? When death is suddenly a serious reality? When we are facing leaving our loved ones behind ad leaving them…for now? When all of life seems tumultuous and out of control?”

“You will keep him in perfect peace…whose mind is stayed on You”

I have not faced this yet in my life…this imminent death. Yes, I never know when I will meet my Jesus face to face and am ready to do so, but knowing the timing could be so soon because of cancer or a difficult pregnancy…this is a different situation entirely. Knowing death is coming or may come very soon gives time. Time to think about life. Before death, after death. And yes, this time and this thinking can bring so many fears.
Fears that only the Prince of Peace can alleviate. Fears that only He can completely wash away with His PERFECT peace.

As the time grows closer for Oliva to give birth she needs peace.
Not knowing when death will come. Not knowing if death will come. But needing to be prepared. Needing Jesus to bring peace.

Death. Life.
Such serious topics that we all face…we all think about…even when we don’t want to. Jesus was there with us as we sat. He heard it all. The cries. The worries, the doubts, the fears. He held the tears in His hands. He held us close. Always our sweet Savior…showing up exactly at the right moment, and giving us exactly what we need.

We talked. And we prayed. And we discussed the possibilities…and possible solutions to a few of the fears. We talked about practical ways we can make things easier for her on that day. Saying goodbye…writing letters. Writing a “Will” of sorts. Who we need to talk with before the birth. We talked about different options…we talked about what all can be done beforehand to help her “settle” - to help bring some peace.

But oh, the peace we need. The peace we crave. The peace we long for. The peace that our souls simply yearn for - That is the peace that only He can give. The peace that only He can bring. The yearning for that perfect peace that only one Prince of Peace can satisfy. I know this. I know where my peace comes from. And yet, the battle still rages for me to stay my mind on Jesus. As I sit here…writing these so serious, heart wrenching words - wills, last goodbye letters “just in case”, talking to important people, plans for the baby’s future without her mother - here I am writing these words and the tears fall. My mind is screaming, “Please, Lord, no! No! Not after all you have done here! Please spare her life! Give us wisdom! Save her baby! Save this precious little baby girl whom you already know by name! Save this little family!”

And yet, there it is again. Me getting frantic, me worrying, me not trusting.
Me needing peace.
Perfect Peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace…whose mind is stayed on You”

“Stay on Jesus.” I tell myself, “Stay on Jesus.”
I tell Oliva, “Stay on Jesus. We’ve got to stay on Jesus.”

We remember. This is not the end. No matter what happens. This is only the beginning - a vapor compared to the eternity that is to come.
And so, we pray. We trust. We surrender.
We stay our minds on Jesus.
We accept His peace.
We receive His peace.
We glory in His peace.
We REST in His peace.

His. Perfect. Peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” 
Isaiah 26:3-4

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