Saturday, June 17, 2017

Peace, Perfect Peace

I've been encouraged to keep a list of God's answers to prayer. One of those answers, which I consider a miracle from God, is sleep.

Every since Ed's anointing service, I have slept very well (except for the one night in the hospital after Ed's surgery that Ed was so uncomfortable and the nurses were constantly in his room.) I sleep deeply, soundly, and wake refreshed.

This is in contrast to the nights before the anointing when I laid awake, heard every chime of the grandfather's clock, and worried. At that point we had no idea what was wrong with Ed, and my imagination ran wild. But if you would have asked, I would have told you that I never imagined a diagnosis like aggressive brain cancer with a short life expectancy.

There is no reasonable explanation for why I could have learned the worse about Ed's condition and be able to sleep. It has to be God.

"I cried unto the Lord with my voice and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me." Psalm 3:4-5

When I was thinking of what hymn to share next, I thought of  Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting. It has been a favorite of mine for years.  But I discovered that I wrote about that hymn about seven years ago. So I chose a different hymn.

I remember the first time I heard "Peace, Perfect Peace." I was with a group of youth who were singing at a nursing home and one of the residents requested this song. We completely botched it. A few years later when I joined the church I attend now, I heard it sung often, but it took me awhile to get over that first introduction.

The tune and the words are simple, but now I appreciate the message of this short song. The words were written after the author heard a sermon on one of my favorite verses.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3

Peace, Perfect Peace 
by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven’s perfect peace.

Listen to the hymn below. (If reading by email you may need to click over to the blog.)

I'd love to here your testimonies of the peace that God has given you.


  1. Gina, Ed and family: Continuing to think of you, pray for you, keep you all knit in my heart. I am a young neurology nurse. I often have both wonderful and wonderfully painful conversations and moments with my patients- so many that have touched me that it's difficult to recall. I like the hymn "Down to the River to Pray" It's repetitive, soothing and a meditation on togetherness in prayer.

  2. I know grief and pain as well. My 24 year old son died of an accidental drug overdose. However, God has made himself known to me as never before. He has given me his peace and comfort. Peace that passes any understanding. II Corinthians 4:7-10 brings me hope. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Your family is continually in my thoughts and prayers! 2 years ago after fighting infertility for 8 years were were pregnant ! I was 39! And about 10 weeks into the pregnancy something was wrong. Our baby was not expected to live. It's was very hard both mentally and fighting health "professionals". Somewhere about 30 weeks I turned it over to God. And I too had a peace you describe. I don't have a song or a verse. It's just an amazing blessing I recieved. We did get to meet or baby he did pass away 36 hours later if Edwards syndrome. But I thank God continually. I'm praying for your miracle and peace! Ps. God did answer our prayer at 41 (gee am I old) we welcomed baby boy 2!

  4. What a wonderful praise report!! Yes sleep is a gift from God especially in times of stress. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

    Here is my testimony of Gods' answered prayer for peace..I cried when my son joined the Army and promptly had orders to go to the war in the Middle East. I joined a group of praying mothers, who also had children going off to war. I moaned that I was so afraid, and couldn't focus 'to pray very well' A wise mother told me "Ask God to lift the fear from you, and be willing to let it go. And listen! Your son is SAFE RIGHT NOW! Thank God for that!" I clung to this advice, and one day as I was calmly praying, a sense of God's peace filled and surrounded me. I felt wrapped in God's love, and I had a kind of revelation. I felt the Lord telling me, that even if my son died in that war, it would be ok, it would be ok, it would be ok. "I" would be ok, my son would ok, because the Lord would have my young man, and all would be ok. I had a since of peace about it all from that time forward. Everyday I thanked God that our child was safe, and 3 times he was ordered to go to the war, and 3x his orders changed. The third time, he was on a ship sailing off to the war..that ship turned around sailed to Hawaii instead! That was 1994 and my son is still with us. I know many fine men (and women) are killed in war, and my son could have been one of them. I know that if he had been one of them, God would see me through. All Glory to God, because MY response was hysteria. God took my fear away and gave me peace, by letting me know that God has my son, here or here-after. Thank You Lord, for the peace that passes all understanding.

    1. Grandma Ruth, I have walked that mile in your shoes! So thankful for the peace that only God can give, especially during times we have absolutely no power over the circumstances or dangers our loved ones are in.

    2. We are truly sisters in Christ, Faye!

  5. Continuing to pray for you, and your precious family! May God continue to give peace, grace and healing! Love to all!! ~Randy & Eunice

  6. To know God's peace which passeth all understanding is an incredible experience. Truly it is His peace and His grace which will never fail, that brings us through these times. During our daughter's journey with cancer we often spoke of God's "grace for the moment". As you mentioned, when we look ahead and imagine all sorts of troubles on the horizon, we are perplexed and do not know God's peace, but it is when we simply trust Him moment by moment that we can rest. I said many times that God's grace is not in our imaginary needs but in the need of the moment. Many prayers for you and your family. (I especially pray for security and comfort for your children as I know how disrupting these difficult times can be for them.)

  7. You and yours are often on my mind. It helps to keep my present trials in perspective. I'm so thankful you are sleeping well. That IS A GIFT!

  8. Eunice Bruckhart is a friend of mine and she shared your blog on FB.......we know the feeling "cancer"
    My husband had esophageal cancer in 2008 and they removed all of his esophagus....I claimed the verse in Isaiah 26:3 .....truly a blessing that year !! Our prayers are with you as a family as you travel this journey. We went to Zion, IL to Cancer Treatment Center of America for help with his they have a CTCA about 4 hrs from where we live here in Atmore, AL. So we have been going there for a yearly cancer check up for the past 4 years. My husband is doing well and to look at him you wouldn't know he had cancer but has to eat small meals frequently!! He had open heart surgery 2 yrs after his cancer journey....we praise the Lord for our four married children & 14 grandchildren and God's people who prayed and were a strong support to us during those difficult years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this unknown journey. I also make our own homemade bread :)

  9. "God is in Control" We hear this often in different circumstances but do we really believe it. When tough things come into our lives and we believe God is really in control, God has a reason for this, God has a purpose for this and He knows the end result, it is then we can have peace that only comes from Him. May God's peace be with you, Praying for your family.

  10. Psalm 94:19 has become very precious to me: "In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." Shifts my ever-wandering focus back to the right place! - Suz

  11. It seems that as I am getting older that I'm aware of God's comfort and peace in every day circumstances and in the little details of my life that to me seem insignificant. God loves and cares for us SO much that His peace and comfort is always there if I slow down and pay attention. When life throws devastating events into our lives that creates chaos and heartbreak, if I'm aware of His comfort and peace on a daily basis, then the search for that comfort that I need isn't so hard. I hope this makes sense....
    I continue to pray for you all!

  12. In times of darkness and pain the Lord has enveloped me in peace, and I have felt him say "Trust me", to rest in that peace and trust is such a blessing. I am so very glad that you are able to sleep, God knows that you need this to help with the day ahead and such a gift at this time. Keeping you in constant prayer. Sue xx

  13. It is so true that God does not give Grace for the things that might be but He gives it abundantly for the moment we are in. Praying for you all!

  14. What a beautiful hymn. I wish we lived closer so I can come help you but the best I can do is pray for you all.

  15. I am SO sorry for what you are going through. I just got the prayer request from Jolene's blog and wanted to come over and visit you and tell you that I am praying. May God have mercy and heal your husband and show His might and power in this situation. Keep encouraged, dear sister.

  16. The morning of Ed's surgery I was reading in Nahum and have been praying 1:7 for you ever since: "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him." As you begin walking the chemo/radiation path tomorrow may His goodness and mercy be like a steady metronome in your lives following you each step of the way. Your shepherd knows the way that you walk.

  17. In 2012 we adopted a little girl from China only to find that every third week she needed to be hospitalized for nine days for severe vomiting, high blood pressure, and a drop in sodium. We have a dairy farm, four kids homeschooled, and the hospital was 45 minutes away. On top of it all, our insurance company kept denying her coverage. I had to let it go. We felt called to adopt and to adopt this little girl. Somehow we knew that God had a plan, but it was hideously difficult to watch her suffer and for us to be separated from the rest of the family regularly. While we didn't know what God had planned, God put me in a place where I was forced to let it rest with Him. I couldn't do anything about anything and trying only robbed me of peace. After three months insurance finally put her on our plan and after another month of effort they backdated her acceptance to the beginning of her illness. It took much longer for her health issues. But she is a miracle! God healed her! In August it will be four years since she has vomited. God has been so good to us. I hope that I would still be able to praise Him if Emily hadn't been healed. God is still good. This song meant a lot to me during that time. It still makes me cry. Praying for you.

  18. Karen R. Hurd Nutritional Practice is an interesting n helpful web site to check out...prayers as you walk this road.

  19. Gina, I just want you to know that your entire family is in my heart and prayers. I pray that our Heavenly Father will wrap his loving arms around you at this difficult time so that you feel His security and love. For Ed, I pray for complete healing, and comfort for you and the children. For all of your extended family, I pray for shelter in the storm. I wish I lived closer and could pitch in and help.

  20. Gina, I just came across your blog on Sunday for the first time while I was looking for sourdough bread recipes. And you have some great recipes! I read many months of past blog articles. As I caught up to the recent medical issues in your family, I realized that it is today, on 19 June, that Ed will start his radiation and chemo treatments. I thought "Of great! I am just in time to pray!" And so I did. I am praying for the patient and the caregiver, for God's perfect peace and relief from pain.

    A favorite line from the hymn "Be Still, My Soul" keeps running through my mind:

    Be still my soul, the winds and waves still know,
    The Voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

    The crisis that envelopes your family now does not come as a surprise to God Almighty. There has never been an emergency meeting of the Trinity. The Lord Himself is a very present help in this time of trouble.

  21. Your testimony through this hard time has been such an inspiration to me! The closest cancer has come to us is in grandparents and cousins which is hard but not near as hard as a spouse! The hardest time of our lives is nothing to what you are going through! Last fall we had a "child from a hard place" come into our home. (that's a long story) We were totally unprepared for the turbulence and total upheaval he would cause in the 3+ months that followed, on top of that we were totally stressed out about the impact he was having on our own four children. Smack in the middle of those 3 months a close relative confessed sin that had far reaching consequences and the extended family was paralyzed with grief. We felt pulled in 3 directions and unable to do justice to any of the duties that called. With concerned ppl reminding us of the places we were neglecting (we do not hold it against them!) we found rest only in God. Never in our married life has God been so close, so real, such a comfort! He worked miracles daily on our behalf. All self sufficiency was totally removed from my husband and I - we have never before realized how utterly helpless we are without God! Looking back on that time we see the silver linings so clearly now and we are striving to not loose that close relationship and utter dependence on God! close to the end of that time I "happened" to buy the CD "Journey of Hope" by the King family. Every song on that CD ministered to my soul.

  22. Dear Gina,
    I found you (about two weeks before you started sharing about Ed) as I was looking at a bread recipe of yours. And, since then have been keeping up with you and your family and have been regularly praying for you. We also have been through the cruel cancer world and understand personally the after affects of chemo/radiation, etc. When I got a sense of what the diagnosis was probably going to be I turned to an older lady whose feet I had sat at in Bible study for many years. Her wisdom was the best, her calming spirit more than I could have ever hoped for and most of all her trust and faith in reassuring me that God had everything in His hands. She gave me Psalm 62 and I take it into my deepest soul regularly these days for whatever each day brings. He is our rock, salvation and stronghold. God is our trust and faith, all power belongs to Him. We are thirsting souls satisfied in God. To God be the glory, that's a good song, but I was going to suggest one of my favorites to add to your song list and that is "It Is Well With My Soul". I am a wife, mother, grandmother and most of all a child of God. I love to garden, weave rugs, cook/bake, and have collected over 1000 cookbooks in my almost 80 years. Next to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are our families, hold yours close and help them through each day. Our love and prayers are for you daily, MaryBeth from Ohio.

  23. That is a familiar River Brethren hymn and we sing it out here in the Iowa church quite often during experience meeting. I am sure that it means different things to you as you walk this journey with Ed than it does to me, but the result is the same. Resting in the peace from God.

  24. Hi Gina! I just wanted to thank you for sharing these beautiful hymns. Sometimes we miss the richness of songs we hear all the time -thanks for sharing the ones that have been blessing you! Actually, we'll be studying some well known hymns this coming homeschool year. Your posts have gotten me excited about it! Please know we pray for you all daily! With love, the Canfields

  25. Dear friends thru A.B.C.!! O how sad we were to hear of all this!!! But our Creator, God, is ever faithful! May He continue to bless u with special times, peace, surrounding love, meeting every need, however small!, With His great love!!! Much love n prayer for all of u!!! Mel n Anne

  26. Praying as the treatments begin this week. Thinking of you many times daily and taking your family to the Throne of Grace.
    We need You, Father.

  27. I love this. Rest in Jesus. I praying for your family and for your husband's health.

  28. Dear Gina, praying for you all this week.. two of my children have very complex medical conditions, several times we have been told there is nothing more to do and God has turned it around. The youngest son then got liver cancer just as an extra complication, God blessed us in that time in many ways, but without His perfect peace we would not have made it. Today in the chaos that can consume our home at times with their conditions, God still blesses me with his peace and rest. God is my rock in all things, my Best Friend without whom I would never cope, He will never leave you and will always be there for you all.

    Blessings to you all praying for you as you walk through this season of life, hope and pray the trial goes well.

    shelley p
    from over the pond

  29. Continuing to pray for you all!

  30. While listening to this, great peace flooded over me. Having experienced cancer in too many of my loved ones, my heart simply broke for your sweet family when I first read of the diagnosis. I just thought, "No! Not them!" But tonight, I realized how wrong I was.

    I wouldn't take away what God is doing in your life, no matter how painful. You see, it is BECAUSE you are precious to Him that you have been chosen out to experience a greater awareness of your Heavenly Father than if you had never entered this dark valley.

    I'm sure you would love for this all to have been a bad dream. Anybody would. I'm sure you would choose health over sickness for your husband. Anybody would. I just sit back in awed reverence that the Mighty God of Heaven and earth has taken this precious family, full of frailties, fears, and weaknesses just like anybody else, and has said, "Now, my children, we must go a way that you never planned. All things will change. But I promise, and I always keep my promises, that it is BECAUSE I love you, not in spite of my love, that we must go through this valley."

    I am stilled, and bow my head that He doeth all things well. Blessings on you and yours. For you are firmly in His hands at every moment. And your weakness is your greatest strength, so that the power of Christ may rest upon you.


I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!


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