Monday, April 5, 2010

Keeping my Mind "Stayed"

Isaiah 26:3 ~ “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

This verse has a different meaning to me this week than it did last week. Last week was a tough week for me. I struggled with many things; worries, anger, sadness, depression... This verse in Isaiah popped in my head on Friday, and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. I realized that I so often left out a very important part of that verse. I used to think of it like this: “You will keep him in perfect peace.... because he trusts you.”

So, I used to think, “OK, God. I trust You. Where’s my peace?” But, it’s one thing to trust God, and it’s a different (and harder) thing to keep our minds focused on Him. Reading the verse again, I emphasize this: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you...” That’s the key to our peace – keeping our mind “stayed” on Christ. I’d like to think that it’s when we keep our minds stayed on Christ, that we are actually proving to Him that we trust Him (like the second half of the verse says.) Because you see, it’s often easy to say we trust God. Many of us would say we do. But, I think being able to stay focused on God and not our circumstances, that is when we really prove that we trust Him.

During one of my “breakdowns” last week, I had a friend ask me a wonderful question (one I will continue to ask myself often). In the midst of my tears, she asked me, “Where has God been in all this?” Wow, what a novel concept. She obviously wasn’t asking as if to say “I can’t believe God abandoned you!” No, she was gently asking me, was there something on my part that I did to lose my focus on Him.

Just the week before, I had felt so close to God. I felt His presence so near. I was digging in the Word. Even though I had many unanswered prayers, I was committed to knowing Christ had a plan. Then, over the course of a few days, I started feeling more vulnerable to satan’s attacks. It was like I was hit from every side; work, friendships and relationships, personal struggles, etc. I had 2 people within a couple of days tell me that I looked “sad.” What was happening? So, when my friend asked “Where has God been?” it was eye-opening. I wondered, “How did I go from the high, to the low, in just a few days?!” The more and more I thought of it, I considered Isaiah 26:3 and I considered the part “whose mind is stayed on you.” That was it! My mind was NOT stayed on God, and I was not experiencing His peace. I realized that I so easily focused on the “troubles” and not God – the One who holds all things in His hand. I tried to take control of situations. I was easily frustrated. I wanted to change things in my own power and strength. And, it didn’t work. I was defeated. I was deflated. I was troubled.

Since Friday, I’ve been trying hard to keep my mind “stayed” on Him. It’s easier said than done, but I realize that I have many opportunities each day, to keep my eyes fixed on Him – if only I will take advantage of the occasion; through reading my Word, staying fervent in prayer, watching my words and actions, controlling my thoughts, changing the radio or tv when I feel the “nudge”. These tiny steps make a HUGE difference. As my focus shifts toward God again, I already see His blessings, love, and peace overflowing. What a good God.

So, I hope this verse encourages you like it did me. And if you are feeling defeated, deflated, or troubled, I ask you this... “Where has God been in all of it?”

A further look into the definition of "Stay":

• staying power; endurance
• to hold out or endure
• a stop, halt, or pause; a standstill
• to pause or wait
• to stand firm
• to hold back, detain, or restrain, as from going further
• to persevere; endure to completion

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (Amplified Version)

1 comment:

Maya's Musings said...

I love that verse, thanks for sharing this, I had a crazy hard week last week too!