Reflections by Chuck Cluff, Atherton resident since 2004
Passage: Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee.”
Well now, why is this true? Why do we have to keep our minds focused on God all the time to have perfect peace? We all have periods of refreshing peace. What makes peace perfect? I think this refers to peace as being perfect because it is not affected by anything that takes place. It is beyond and above life situations and happenings.
Perfect peace must not mean having no sorrow and no sadness. If it does, there were times Jesus did not have it. Jesus cried when Lazarus’ sisters were so hurt because he was dead. When looking over Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus was sorrowful. At the garden before he was arrested, Jesus was so distraught his sweat was as drops of blood. The peace mentioned here is not like resting on a lounge chair in a nice back yard sipping lemonade. The peace referred to in this verse is a deep knowing we are safe, that everything is OK. It is a state of complete confidence, absolute surety. We relax in God’s protection and provision. We know however things look at the time they will turn out well. We will be fine. (The trusting God part of this verse.)
But how can we have peace when we or someone we love is very sick? We have to reach into the future, when all the temporary hardship is over and health has finally come. We don’t often like the short-term condition, but we love the final outcome. We lose our peace when we forget the longer view. When we watch a drama we have seen before we can become almost as intensely engrossed as when we saw it the first time, until our minds remind us we have seen it and know everything comes out well.
It is all too easy for us to forget the end God has shown us, so we let ourselves get all anxious about the things going on now. A mantra for the believer, that would be good to repeat often is, ‘We will all be fine’. We need to take a big step back at times to remember this, to be able to say this, because it doesn’t look like it in the present moment. But, it will all be fine. This is God’s promise and we know it is true! To live in perfect peace necessitates having this big picture before us all the time. This is a big challenge, but it is how we have continual peace. Perfect peace comes from constant awareness of the final results. We know how it is going to end, and it will all be fine.