Weekly Devotion: Imperfect Circumstances, Perfect Peace

Reading: Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 8:18-20

I have recently discovered something. My love for predictability and stability are completely at odds with the life of faith that we as believers are called to live. This might be something that you have always understood, but it was sort of an epiphany to me. I mean, I don’t think a desire for stability is a sin, but I do think it’s something to be overcome. 

Lately everything in my life has been changing. And by lately I mean it started 2 years ago and hasn’t stopped since then. I feel like I live on a spinning top and I just keep trying again and again to find my equilibrium. Like instead of the earth spinning imperceptibly on its axis, someone has walked by the globe and spun it like a contestant at the big wheel on The Price is Right. It has been so hard for me to be at peace with all of this. I’ve always been a little (OK a lot) on the anxious side, and any type of change intensifies my feelings of anxiety. I desperately want to be that person who has the peace that passes all understanding, but a lot of the time I feel like if anything I am desperately grabbing at peace, terrified that any second now someone is going to rip it from my hands. Two verses are helping me figure out how to handle this. 

One of them is Matthew 8:18-20. In this verse, a teacher of the law is vowing to follow Jesus anywhere, seemingly with his heart in the right place, but Jesus is so honest. He basically says, “You want to follow me? Animals have a better chance at comfort than I do.” So many times I have wondered if the reason why I didn’t feel at peace, or why I was constantly under so much stress and change was because I was out of the will of God, when Jesus clearly says here that to follow him means to choose an unpredictable life. It’s a life that requires faith. So how does one experience peace in the face of these circumstances? 

This brings me to the second verse: Isaiah 26:3. It says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” The way to keep peace in the midst of uncertain situations is to keep my mind off of the circumstances and the unpredictability and choose instead to focus on what is unchanging— God. He is love, and he can be trusted to lead from a place of love. He can be trusted to give us just enough information to move on to the next step. I have no idea what the next week or month or year of my life is going to look like, but I’m going to make a definite effort to keep my focus where it should be.

I encourage you to push aside the noise and the circumstances that are fighting your mind and your peace today, and force your life to a place of stillness to focus on your heavenly Father. Life doesn’t make sense, but the good news is, that neither does the peace that God has promised us we can have.

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