On the Side: August 2020
Peace of Mind
by Sharon Chatwell
I haven’t been able to write for weeks. The peace of mind, which I so typically enjoy, has eluded me recently. Every time I’ve tried to put pen to paper, I have found horrible angry things drying in the ink on the page. I almost despaired of writing this article, but my husband, good man that he is, suggested I write about “peace of mind.” He figured I’d have to walk through some Bible verses and pray a bit to regain my peace of mind, so I could effectively write about it, and he was right…thankfully. I hope you will walk through this exercise with me.
The last few months have been difficult for everyone. Not just because we are in a worldwide pandemic, or because our serious social issues have caused a national furor, but because the year is evenly divisible by four, which means we are having ourselves an election. And everyone seems to be so driven by this last item that no one seems to be able to talk sensibly or reasonably about anything at all.
This bothers me. (Note the lack of exclamation point—this shows my restraint.)
In addition to all of this, for medical families, summer is often a time of great change! Many doctors’ wives are currently dealing with their husbands changing stages in their medical careers. Congratulations to all of you, by the way! Enjoy the differences in your locations and employments! May God bless you and keep you!
Change is always stressful. Even when we are looking forward to a change, it can add stress to our lives. And stress and its often-accompanying worry can lead to a total loss of peace of mind. As Christians, how do we address this?
We must look to Jehovah God, our Creator and Savior. And we must cast our cares upon Him. We know this works, but sometimes we just forget to do it. Let’s look at some Bible verses together. It’ll be good for all of us.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2, NKJV).
Things happen that we don’t expect. Disasters occur. We are instructed in God’s Word to hold on to the fact that God is our refuge and our strength, and that He is right there and able to help, no matter what kind of trouble we are experiencing. God is present in and fully aware of our circumstances, and He is perfectly able to provide for us in them.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV).
Let’s dissect this promise a bit.
Being anxious means worrying. Worrying doesn’t do anyone any good. Worry just eats away at the container it is kept in. If you are that container, it eats away at you. Worrying also is an indication of the fact that you have stopped trusting in God to provide for your needs and are instead trusting in your own abilities and actions to provide for them. (I am writing this to myself as well as to you…)
Praying is necessary. “…In everything…” it says, and that must include pandemics and elections (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV). Supplication means by earnest prayer, “…let your requests be made known to God…” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV). We have to put it all out there on the table before God and say, “Here, God. Here it is.” But wait! There is another step we have skipped over.
“…With thanksgiving…” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)! What?! Do we have to be thankful for what we are going through? No. That’s not what it means. It means we are to be thankful to God for all the things He has done for us in the past and all the things we know He is doing for us right now, and for all that He has promised in His Word that He will do for us in the future. That’s a lot of things to be thankful for!
By the time we get through with all of this, and have quietly thanked God for all the things He has done for us, and thought through who He is and what He is capable of doing for us, we will be much calmer and at peace. As the promise states, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NKJV).
There, I feel better now. I hope you do, too. In the end we may have to step back and let God sort out some of these things later on…maybe even on Judgment Day. Even that we can entrust to Him in peace.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV).
May God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sharon is a physician’s wife living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She prays that whatever you are facing, you will give it to God and have peace of mind. She will do the same.