Friday, March 23, 2007

His Perfect Peace

As most of you know, this is Justin's last semester of class, and he will graduate in August after a summer internship. So we're on the cusp of a big change, and we're close to defining what direction our lives will be headed. So this is a big time in our lives, and at the moment filled with uncertainty. He has applied all over the place for his summer internship, and now we're just waiting to hear back. The waiting is so hard! I'm the kind that wants to be able to know what's coming and have my plan all set for it, and so as May approaches and we still don't know where we're going or what we're doing, that could potentially cause me a lot of anxiety. However, God keeps bringing this verse to my mind:

"You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."
~ Isaiah 26:3-4

This is clearly a good verse for my situation, but it's also really hard. At the times when I'm feeling anxious, I'm clearly not keeping my mind stayed on God, or else He would be keeping me in perfect peace. So how do I really trust in the Lord? There's a difference between being forced to wait because nobody's getting back to us, and choosing to trust in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. So what's the difference and how do I move from the former to the latter? Well, thankfully, God led me to a verse that very clearly illustrates how to do this. It's a familiar one, but it takes new meaning for me now that I really need it:

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7

So God gives us step-by-step instructions on how to trust Him.
1. Recognize that you're anxious over your situation and recognize that your state of mind is not the most God-honoring.
2. Pray and ask God for the solution to your problem.
3. Don't forget the thanksgiving! Thank God for all of the blessings He's given you, and take time to remember His promises. That will put your situation in the proper perspective, and it will bring you the peace that God promises.

So I'm not saying that I'm really good at this, and I certainly wouldn't classify my current state of mind as "perfect peace." This isn't just a one-time deal either. You keep praying and praising as often as anxiety comes your way - it may be once a day, or even once an hour! But I'm thankful for God's Word that teaches me how to live for Him, and I want to honor Him by not worrying about what is to come. He knows where we will be, and He will reveal that in His own perfect timing. Blessed be the name of the Lord.


John said...

After reading Justin's blog, I'll be glad when you guys get out of there! Wow... it sounds as if your apartment complex is one big mess!

Jessica said...

WARNING: Sisterly advice approaching.

I know it's hard, but please try not to waste away this precious time trying to make a "plan" for your life.

You and Justin are in such a beautiful phase of life: limited responsibility and practically unlimited opportunity before you. Setting on a career path and starting a family are both wonderful stages of life, but once you're there you can never go back to the freedom you now enjoy.

I wasted far too much of that early marriage phase looking ahead to what was next -- and things didn't work out the way I planned anyway.

Instead of worrying and planning, try to be as spontaneous as you can. Decide to be excited instead of anxious. Realize that God already knows where you're going to be in 6 months, in 6 years, so let Him do the planning.


Joni said...

Thanks for the advice, sister! I'm doing my best to not feel the need to worry or plan, but being spontaneous most of the time requires money, and it's scary not knowing where the next paycheck will come from! But I am just wanting to trust and be free to enjoy this period in my life. You're exactly right, sis. Pray for us!