In my quiet time on Sunday, a verse came to mind: Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (All Scripture I memorized as a young person was in KJV.) This verse uses the word, mind. Not my heart, my spirit or my body, my mind. And isn’t that exactly what my fear is about, not having a sound mind? I already trust God in so many ways, ways I rarely even share with other people. But with my mind’s health? This verse was not just a reminder to trust, as it might appear, it is a very specific trust which I had not yet visited: trust Him with your mental thought processes. Remember I said I am afraid of “crazy”? I don’t mean medicated depression or managed mental illness. What I mean is this: that person who lives only by their own reason and understanding, rejecting the correction and accountability of the people who love them. That person is either unwilling or unable to acknowledge irrefutable and pervasive truth.
This verse has come back to me over and over again throughout this past week. I am meditating upon it, seeking to understand it at a deeper level. It is clear in my spirit that this is a word that God wants me to take hold of. I took the time on Tuesday to create a document with 15 different translations of this verse and I especially like the Amplified version: “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.” I did some thorough digging around on the words used in this verse, as I often do if I am drawn repeatedly to a passage, and I discovered some insights that spoke powerfully to me.
The word for keep (natsar, Strong’s 5341) means “to faithfully guard, watch over, preserve from danger”. The words perfect peace are (shalom shalom 7965) and includes the idea of “encouraging one who is fearful, reassuring him that all is well. It is a satisfied condition, a sense of well-being; completeness, soundness, health, quiet, peaceful tranquility, entirety and wholeness”. The word for mind (yetser, 3335) means “intellectual framework, imagination, desire, inclination, plans and purposes formed in the mind.” Imaginations. Inclinations. Isn’t this exactly what I fear will be skewed, unhealthy, troubled? The word stayed (camak 5564) means “to lean against, lay upon, rest upon, be upheld and supported by what one rests upon”. The word trusteth (batach 982) means “to trust in, to attach oneself, to have confidence and confident expectation in, to feel safe and secure”. Using the definitions that most speak to me, I could write it like this: “You will faithfully guard and preserve from danger [her] whose mind, intellect, imagination, plans and purposes are layed upon, resting upon and supported by Thee: because [she] attaches [herself], trusts, makes [herself] secure in and has confident expectation in Thee.” Did you see that every primary word, except for mind, denotes some form of safety or security? In keep, God is faithfully guarding. In perfect peace God is powerfully encouraging, reassuring, bringing completeness, soundness, health and wholeness. In stayed, it is my job to lean upon, rest upon, literally throw myself upon God for support. And in trusteth, I am to attach myself to Him, have confidence in Him and feel safe and secure in Him. He does the first part as (or even after) I do the second part. Once again, the divine cooperative dance between human will and divine interaction.
This has been His ongoing word to me this week. I have been comforted by it, strengthened by it, and as I have studied it more, have been profoundly challenged by it. I don’t know if there is any other verse God could have brought to me that would be more succinct, direct and inclusive of this entire fear. And once again, I am being called to lay down my fear (and my attempt to control or fix this issue) and to throw myself, this piece of me in particular, upon Him for every bit of my healing, confidence and safety. His work in this area will be progressive, as it always is, but this is a very large first step in this new dimension. This is how He works in my life.
[I used both Strong’s Concordance and the Old Testament Lexical Aids by Spiro Zodhiates].