He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! (Isaiah 26:3 TLB)
A number of years ago, my cousin and her husband owned a second home on a coastal island. They purchased the house and surrounding property from an old sea captain and renovated it. The house was a sprawling ranch-style, with quarters on one end of the home for the captain’s crew. On the other side of the house were tabby ruins of slave quarters, the remnants of the plantation that once dominated the island. Live oak trees dotted the yard. Spanish moss dripped from their branches and swayed like long, gray tresses in the ocean breezes.
The house backed up the marsh and was situated on an inlet creek. At high tide, the water level rose sufficiently to allow shrimp boats to navigate up the creek to an ancient fish processing plant. Their net extensions bobbed like wide-open arms as the boats made their way past the house.
The paved main road onto the island continued down the Avenue of the Oaks to Coffin Point plantation, but the side streets were sand. Once on a sandy street, the outside world faded. On the right stood the house of the lady with too many cats, that lounged on the porch and in the yard and sat on the roof. On the left, colorful cinder block houses and palmetto tree woods lined the sand track. And then, the house came into view, low and long, planted beside the creek and the marsh. In the evenings, as the sun slipped down in the sky, it painted a swath of orange and pink on the horizon, a stark contrast to the gray-green marsh grass.
At one point in my life, when I was struggling with many concerns, my cousin asked if I would like to use the house for a week. I gratefully accepted. That week, early each morning, I took my Bible, prayer journal, and a mug of hot tea down to the picnic table at water’s edge to read, pray, and watch the marsh come to life.
One morning, as I poured out my concerns to God, I said aloud, “Please give me a sign that you hear me!” Moments later, a dolphin surfaced in the creek and exhaled so close to me the spray touched me. It was as if God breathed on me. I laughed, and then cried, thanking my Heavenly Father for the quickest answer to prayer I’d ever received. In that moment, I experienced a sense of peace that flooded my mind and heart like the ripples of incoming tide up the inlet creek.
Sometimes, the reason we don’t experience peace is because we really don’t trust God. We spend lots of time worrying, trying to work out problems on our own, or escape them, instead of praying and trusting God to provide answers. But Isaiah 26:3 reminds us perfect peace hinges on trust and trust is a by-product of frequent encounters with the Lord.
Perhaps you are navigating a difficult season of life and need a flood of reassurance that God knows your circumstances and is near. Take time to pray, asking for wisdom and direction. Trust that God is aware and working on your behalf. Although you may not receive an immediate resolution to your situation, watch with peace-filled expectation for what happens next.
Copyright © Candy Arrington, used with permission.