Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

 

An artist was once asked to paint a picture depicting perfect peace. At its unveiling everyone was startled at his portrayal. The artist painted a roaring waterfall with a single tree growing up through the rocks at its edge and leaning out over the waterfall’s foaming water. On the highest branch reaching out over the waterfall was a nest and in it a mother bird with her chicks.

 

Below is Jack Dawson’s reimagining of this painting:

Peace is best measured in relationship to its adversaries. Our perfect peace stands in contrast to the pain and sorrow entailed in being mentally ill; in having a chemical imbalance. At nights this verse is often in the center of my thinking as I try to overcome the obstacles to sleep. On this particular night as I am writing this Pattern devotional, sleep has fled. Nevertheless, I am still at perfect peace in the knowledge that God knows this and will see me through the morrow. What must be remembered are the two ingredients of perfect peace—a right mind and a trusting heart.

 

The very essence of being chemically imbalanced is having a damaged mind. But we see in this verse that even such a person can achieve tranquility if his mind, as ill as it may be, is fixed on God. All of our thoughts must be filtered through the scriptures and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

 

Believing God for a successful outcome in spite of temporary setbacks is the essence of trust. Our ultimate destiny is life eternal in the Father’s house. Even though our eyes only see the foaming water and the craggy rocks, our faith tells a different story—we are forever in the presence of Jesus.

 

You may pray this prayer with me: “Dear God, I thank You that it is possible for me to have perfect peace no matter what the external circumstances of my life may be. Help me fix my mind on You at all times and to always trust in Your word to see me through life’s obstacles. Thank You for the promise of eternal peace in the presence of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

 

-John Lashbrook