Oh, happy day! This is my 1st blog post ever!!! I’ve always enjoyed putting my thoughts to paper, but have never used this sort of platform for doing so.
The inspiration for this post came from an on-line sermon I heard on Sunday and the message was oh, so timely, as I have felt stricken and defeated in this season of pandemic. Is that what we’re even calling it? You know the season, the one where we’re hearing the words social distancing, shelter in place, and quarantine for the first time in our history.
What I absolutely know to be true is that some thoughts have no business infiltrating my heart and mind, stealing my peace and joy, and yet there they are ringing loudly between my ears. You may recognize the thoughts: I’m not doing enough. I don’t have enough. I’m not good enough. Thoughts like these & similar ones certainly do not serve us well, do they?
During a hard season like this one, it is critical to consider beforehand, the thoughts that are permissible and constructive. Read that again! What you think and what you believe can literally change your body chemistry. Every time you tell yourself something your brain releases chemicals. If you choose a pessimistic, hopeless outlook your brain immediately releases negative chemicals that can make your whole body feel bad. The opposite is also true, a hopeful or helpful thought will trigger a release of completely different chemicals.
I do not negate that when life comes to a standstill, it is tempting to focus on what we’ve lost. The enemy wants to create thoughts from a place of scarcity and fear. He wants to create confusion and chaos driving the focus on what we’ve lost. That confusion and chaos rob us of our ability to trust and see what God is doing right now to prepare us for something greater.
So what can be a solution for changing the pattern of our thoughts? Here is an important question that we can reflect on, ‘What is STILL true?’ Look around for the reasons to STILL be thankful. God is STILL in control. God is STILL worthy of praise. We are STILL blessed. We are STILL chosen and cherished by God. We are STILL forgiven and freed. We STILL have response-ability, which gives freedom to choose our thoughts and to choose how we respond to different situations that arise.
Be still and listen to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit. Our Creator will turn this chaos into something beautiful. We benefit greatly when we let the One who is in us guide our thoughts.
This week, create a few minutes to be still. You may need to schedule it, much like you would a doctor’s appointment–making it a priority. Reflect on the words in Philippians 4:8. Whenever you feel the enemy changing the trajectory of your thoughts, stop and journal 5 things that you are grateful for. An attitude of gratitude can change everything.
Lastly, Pastor Rick Atchley wrapped up his sermon on Sunday morning with the following words, ‘May our joy in who we are and what we have in Christ be more contagious than this virus!’ Can I get an Amen?!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8