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Monday, November 4, 2019

Perfect Peace 1: Mind

In the Shadow of the Cross from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Sharon Tate Soberon, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. - Isaiah 26:3 ESV
In the Hebrew version of the Bible, the most ancient copies that we have, when a writer wanted to strongly emphasize something they would repeat the word. In English it might be similar to saying "That was really, really fun!" or "I am so, so tired." The part of this verse that usually is translated "perfect peace" is actually "shalom", the Hebrew word for peace, twice. "You keep him in shalom, shalom." Shalom itself is a much broader word than the English word "peace" - shalom means peace in every part of your existence. Our word "peace" means maybe emotional health, sometimes the absence of physical conflict. Shalom is much more comprehensive. It means emotional peace, physical health, even prosperity. Can you imagine that kind of holistic "peace" except double-timed?

This word "mind" is an unusual one. It's not really the word for "mind" at all, it's the word for your creative imagination. We all imagine things all day long - we anticipate what the driver in front of us is going to do, we think about what we want to eat for dinner, we plan to go to or send our kids to college, we think about what to get someone for Christmas. Those are all uses of our imagination, our creativity. What if every time we imagine something, Jesus was part of it? What if we considered our gift-giving in the light of what would be pleasing to God? Would we be more generous? What if we planned out our weekends based on what we might be able to do for others, not just for ourselves? What if we truly approached all of our plans for the future with Jesus in the picture? Maybe you do that already, but I know I certainly fall short many times a day. Maybe that's because, as this verse says, I don't really trust Jesus with all parts of my life. Or maybe it's because I simply forget to keep my focus where it needs to be.

I've started to consciously take a couple of times a day out to focus on Jesus. It's kind of hard when I'm frustrated with something (especially when that something is myself!) but in those hard spots, it seems to reveal the root of the problem (for example, I may think I'm getting angry because I'm having a hard time with a task, but when I take it to Him, I suddenly realize that I'm mostly afraid that I'm inadequate, that I won't be able to do it). I'd like to challenge you this week to give that a try. You may just find that you begin to experience a peace that will blow your mind!

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