Daily Devotional

Sandals of Peace

by Simon Whitton

1 But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

Isaiah 43:1-5a (NIV)

As we walk along the stony path of life, do we walk in anxiety or in peace, barefoot or wearing sandals? If we walk barefoot, it will be in discomfort and anxiety, always looking down, afraid of every step and unable to look around at the scenery or enjoy our companions. But when we wear the sandals of peace, we can enjoy the walk, take in the beauty of God's creation, and laugh with those we walk with.

In order to walk in peace, it's important that we completely reject the notion that it's a result of excellent circumstances. Life is always a stony path, yet some walk without a care in the world, others tiptoe and wince at almost every step. One person has great anxiety because of minor financial problems, while another faces death with peace.

A prerequisite for peace is that you know that the Lord formed you, redeemed you, made you righteous, and you belong to Him. You must trust that the Lord is in control, and He will be with you even as you pass through the waters and the fire. You are precious to Him and He loves you so much He even gave His own son in exchange for your life.

Jesus faced beatings and execution with serenity, but first He had to have a Garden of Gethsemane experience. Gethsemane means 'oil press', a place where olives are crushed.

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."
33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.
34 "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.
36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

Mark 14:32-36 (NIV)

It is completely human to wrestle with anguish when facing a painful death. We naturally attempt to scheme, fight and maneuver our way out of it. But our Father corners us in this place, hoping that we will surrender. We don't have to give up our will, but we must agree to accept His will, however painful it may seem.

The key to peace is to trust the Lord and to accept His will, even in death. Once your greatest fear is conquered in this way, all other anxiety is mastered, and you will walk in peace. Each of us should have a Garden of Gethsemane experience.

Spend some time in prayer, and pray that the Lord will give you complete confidence that He is with you and will be with you as you as pass through waters or walk through the fire. Pray that He will help you to completely surrender to His will.

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