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Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Father's Favorite Scripture

Treasured Friend,

I'd like to share with you once again a post I originally issued on Father's Day 2010. It centers around my dad's life-Scripture. When I was a child, we used to sing it as a chorus in our church. In fact, I learned it that way before I ever knew it was straight out of the Word. When I wanted to do something nice for Daddy on Sunday evening, I'd summon my courage during the song and testimony service and with all the effort my little introverted heart could muster I'd call out the number of the chorus -- Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace. The congregation would sing it (Mom would be beaming away at the piano!), and Daddy would snuggle me close under his arm.

The Scripture in the old King James version says this:

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

I, of course, prefer a contemporary translation ... but the truth remains unchanged. These days, I really enjoy reading the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) -- because its fresh turn of phrase attracts and holds my attention -- leaving me less likely to gloss over what I've read so often, leaving me less sure that I already know what the Word has to say to me. Here is the way HCSB translates this timeless truth:

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.

A mind in perfect peace -- made possible through child-like trust in the dependable Creator/Savior/Father/Friend.

In our household, we've appropriated that Scripture in countless ways. In pre-op wards, when we didn't know whether we'd see each other again this side of eternity. In times of financial challenge. In times of physical separation due to work-related travel or (in days gone by) when miles separated us while I was away getting my education.

What a testimony of a life lived for Christ -- sure trouble and trials and challenges come, but the mind doesn't need to be in turmoil. It can stay in peace -- even perfect peace -- because of well-placed trust. Trust in the only One worthy of our dependence.

I can't think of a more appropriate life verse -- or one with a greater legacy attached to it. God is faithful. Not only does He provide His presence in us and with us, His direction, His love and grace and forgiveness -- but He offers us the sure dependability of His peace guarding our hearts and minds -- through Christ Jesus our Lord.

May the truth here in Isaiah's prophecy about God's unchanging nature be a source of comfort -- and especially of peace -- to you no matter what challenges face you today.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

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