Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet;
but one thing I do...
forgetting what lies behind and
reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the heavenly prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
This morning, when I got up, I was in a fairly good place.
Then a brief encounter with someone
sent my mind spiraling out of control.
In an instant...
just the mere suggestion of something from the past...
just the tone of the words spoken to me,
shook me, causing me to lose my balance.
The balance of my thoughts and emotions shifted.
I had this sinking feeling...
this overwhelming oppressive cloud began to cover me.
And I knew it was not a right place to go.
Tears welled up, and though I was already dressed for the gym,
I considered staying home.
I could have, just then and there...
given in to my feelings and thrown myself a pity party.
But instead, I knew working out and getting my daily endorphin surge,
would be a better medicine.
I had to make myself leave the house.
I sat there in my car and knew I needed first to fix my mind.
So I looked up some verses to encourage myself.
I spoke them out loud...
just me sitting in my car, in the garage.
Because I knew that if I didn't choose to set my mind on something good,
it would easily be filled with negative condemning thoughts.
An empty place...
is still a space..
Our minds will always fill with the next, easiest thought...
unless we make a better choice.
If you've ever felt this shift in balance,
you know what I'm talking about.
I think we all have, at some time or another,
experienced this filling...
even flooding, that harasses us
with the next negative thing...
the condemning thought,
the memory from the past,
the sad, sorry, pity party stuff.
That is exactly when we need to take control of our thoughts.
We must think something better... on purpose,
rather than becoming overwhelmed.
And the best place to start...
is something good from God,
Something to renew us... on purpose!
And God led me to this...
But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator,
And He who formed you, says...
“Do not fear,
for I have redeemed you from captivity;
I have called you by name... you are Mine!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
“For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel... your Savior;
I have given Egypt to the Babylonians as your ransom,
Cush ancient Ethiopia and Seba its province in exchange for you.
“Because you are precious in My sight,
You are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in return for you
and other peoples in exchange for your life.
“Do not fear, for I am with you..."
I chose to speak out loud,
the beauty of Old Testament...
Isaiah reminding me that I am precious to God
and always protected.
And then I married it with the New Testament truth of Paul...
urging me to let go of my past,
and press on toward the future.
To be honest... It didn't happen immediately.
But after I read the verses a few times,
I drove toward the gym and let the words of God
sink in, and bathe my mind and my spirit.
The heaviness lifted...
I even stopped at the Post Office to mail a letter
and heard an encouraging word... a compliment.
God certainly did not want me to spend this day
out of balance.
You cannot go FORWARD...
He knows how strong you really are...