Perfect Peace.

I have to be honest.  There are times in my life when I ask myself, “Can God’s perfect peace really overcome my deepest fears?” And I doubt and question and wonder.  I often wonder how I can finally allow myself to constantly rest in God’s peace, not just experience it here-and-there only when I’m having a good day.

My fears become so seemingly real and overwhelming and gripping.  When they’re at their worst, they seem like the truest reality there is, and there seems to be no escape.  I fear for my family, my health, my finances, my education, my future…the list goes on and on.  It becomes obsessive, compounding, never-ending.  Fear is a trap, yet it’s so attractive.  I believe it presents itself as a way for us to have control over what happens–or at least to be prepared if the “worst” does happen. However, it is a dark spiral of despair that never gives us control.  Fear only gives us more reason to hold on more tightly to the things that God has called us to relinquish into His control.  The things we hold so tightly to are meant to be in His hands because nothing is outside of God’s control, while much is outside our control.

He wants me to give Him my fears for my family, my health, my finances, my education, and my future.  Why?  Because He already holds these things in His hands, and these things are way too heavy for me to hold onto on my own.    

I think it all comes down to where our thoughts are fixed.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” [emphasis mine]

This verse doesn’t say that God will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in their own ability and whose thoughts are fixed on their fears.  When we trust in our own abilities and fixate on our fears, we will not find peace because our eyes are not upon our Father.  

I believe that only when our eyes are fixed upon our Father will He keep us in perfect, life-giving, sustaining peace that will consistently sustain us in the midst of life’s uncertainty.  And when we experience God’s peace, the deepest fears of our hearts simply melt away.  

What a wonderful, peace-supplying God we have.  He is our truest reality.

Home from the East.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation,  the news that the God of Israel reigns!” –Isaiah 52:7

I have recently returned home from a two-month trip to Nepal and Bangladesh, and I can sense that I’ve been changed.  As I attempt to fit myself back into everyday life back at home, I can sense that a little part of me feels different.  I can’t really figure it out completely, but I think after having such an experience overseas, it is expected that I be changed.

In the next few months, I plan on writing about thoughts and experiences that occurred while overseas. If you’ve ever been overseas for a season of time, you can probably relate to the fact that such an experience takes some processing through.  If you’ve never been overseas, I hope that my processings will help you to glimpse in a new way the joys and the difficulties of experiencing a new culture, a different religion, and the customs that accompany both.  I hope I can shed light on my belief that a country’s unique systemic needs cannot be overcome apart the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit of God.  I pray that I can write about the Great Commission in such a way that the Holy Spirit speaks straight to our hearts, guiding us in the pursuits that He wants us to be a part of for His Kingdom.