In the words of a dear friend, “Is there such a condition as an overactive brain? I might just be the ‘happy’ owner.” I had to laugh when she said this because I completely identify. My mind never stops. I am constantly thinking. Some days, I am exhausted not only from what I have done physically but from the scenarios running through my brain all day. I am rarely in “neutral”. I have been known to get up several times in the middle of the night to go make a note of something that needs attention in the morning. Because I am wired this way, I have had to learn to discipline this area of my life to honor God and to avoid a snug fitting custom made straitjacket.
I try to make a conscious effort to think about what I am thinking about. If I am having a particularly difficult day, I take inventory of what I am thinking about. If I am thinking about things I cannot control, problems I cannot solve and the future that I cannot possibly know, I am going to feel anxious, stressed and depressed. I am, by nature, a problem solver and like order and peace so this line of thinking doesn’t work for me at all. I have to go the Word so I have a “plan” of what to think about. Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” When I feel down or discouraged and realize that my mind is wandering to negativity, I begin to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. I discipline myself to think about what I am thinking about!
Our thoughts are influenced by so many things. The Lord is teaching me to find the things that feed the positive and get rid of the things that feed the negative.
I was so moved by a recent story shared with me by a friend. This friend was spending the weekend with a woman she had just met and the hostess was showing her around her home when she announced, “if you are looking for a television in this house, you won’t find one. We got rid of all of them because the shows I was watching were making me angry and ungrateful.” My friend thought, “Well, what in the world have you been watching?” The hostess went on to explain that shows like Extreme Home Makeover and the design shows on HGTV began to make me her feel unsatisfied with what she had and envious of what others had. She got rid of the source of that negative thinking and, with a grateful heart, started “sprucing up” the beautiful home that God had blessed her with.
This woman found the source of her negative thinking, which affected her behavior and attitude, and she got rid of it. Take inventory of the things that cause you to feel anxious, stressed and/or negative and get rid of it! If it’s not blessing you, it’s surely not blessing anyone around you!
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I used to think that this scripture meant that if I prayed, read my bible, loved and obeyed God and tried to please Him that He would give me the desires of my heart – the things that I wished for. I now know that this was the wrong interpretation altogether. To delight means “to find great pleasure in”. This scripture is saying that when I find great pleasure in the Lord, in my time with Him, in His Word and in His will, His desires actually become my desires. He GIVES me the desires of my heart. The desires are actually HIS given to ME! Wow! That is powerful!
If you are burdened down with negative thoughts, fearful of things you cannot control or have an ongoing list of “things to do” running through your mind, stop and delight yourself in the Lord and make Him the joy and rejoicing of your Spirit. There is no room for worry and fear if we remember that God is ours and that He desires to fill our hearts with His desires!
The Pastor’s Wife