“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3)
I blew it last night. I lost my debit card at a gas station last night and I didn’t even realize it until I got a Facebook private message asking me, “Did you lose your debit card at such-and-such gas station?” I dug into my purse and, sure enough, no debit card. I quickly messaged the person back: “Yes, I did! Is it still there?” The answer: “No, I have it, I didn’t want to leave it at the gas station. We are eating supper now after church.” I messaged back: “Thank you! Tell me where and I’ll come to you to get it” And I waited, keys in hand, for the response. Nothing. More waiting. No response. Thirty minutes went by and nothing. I tried to call. No answer. I messaged again. No response. I checked my messenger every 3 minutes, no response. No response. No response. An hour later and I sent another message: “Please let me know how I can connect with you and get my debit card back.” Crickets chirping. By this point my anxiety level was through the roof. I checked my account on-line to see if the card was being used. Thankfully not. I agonized over whether to have the card cancelled. But she said they had been at church, so there was a little hope. We went to bed and my mind was a whirlwind of anxiety. I lay down, eyes squeezed shut and tried to sleep. I sensed a brief flash of light from the bedside table. She messaged me back: “Sorry, my phone went dead.” Relief flooded my mind and heart as I messaged her back and arranged to pick it up. I finally drifted off to sleep.
This morning Isaiah 26:3 floated through my mind. I realized I had blown it. I lost my peace. I worried and fretted, imagining all sorts of scenarios of my card being used and my account being drained. I was the antithesis of the person in this verse. My mind was everywhere but on the Lord. Surely the same God who had just taken us from the pit of joblessness, homelessness and despair and blessed us so richly, could be trusted to safeguard my debit card. The truth is, I had not even thought to ask Him to. My mind was nowhere near Him. I had no peace in the situation. And to make matters worse, I had just come from a Bible study where the lesson was on peace!
Our lives are constantly in flux – ups and downs with sudden curves and more than a few potholes. But our hearts don’t have to be. If we keep God as the center of our thoughts we can peacefully endure all the uncertainties and sudden changes that come at us. What if I had immediately prayed, “Thank you for securing my lost debit card. I know it is safe in Your hands, no matter whose human hands are holding it. Help me to trust You to get it back to me.” If only I had remembered that God is trustworthy in all things that surround me, that He cares about my life and the things that concern me, I would have saved myself so much anxiety and sleep.
Maybe your concern is something bigger than a lost debit card. Maybe it is a lost relationship, or a hard diagnosis, or a financial pothole that keeps you up at night. I’ve been in those too. And God has been faithful. You and I are not people in despair with no hope. We are the people of God and He cares about everything that touches our lives. Everything. And with that assurance we can – we must – take hold of our thoughts and redirect them to Him. Only then can we weather these hard things with peace. Beloved, has He ever let you down? I didn’t think so – and He won’t now. Peace is a byproduct of trust and trust comes when we consider the faithful record of God and His righteous, loving character. The saying goes: “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.” We need to know Him, trust Him, and stand steadfast in faith. Beloved, you and I can have a perfect peace because we have a perfect God who cares for us perfectly. Steadfast peace is a soft pillow on which to lay your head; trust God – and get some sleep tonight.