Before I post another thought, I need to follow up on my Still Water post from last week. It is imperative that I offer sound advice for those with deep crevasses where their thoughts seem to travel. Below is a short excerpt from a writing a have not published that speaks of my experience trying to dam a pattern of thoughts caused by dysfunction.
“…in times of sadness I have learned to dance in the rain and focus on blessings rather than the emptiness. If one isn’t centered in Christ, the focus is on the remaining space and we try to fill it with things of this world. Think about that for a moment… I spent money to fill my void. Some use drugs or alcohol. Some turn to relationships that might be harmful. The devil does his best work when that person seems perfect and has filled that hole in your heart. Like a cancer, they cause more damage and make a larger whole than ever. It’s pretty twisted, eh? But that is why we shouldn’t get wrapped up in anything that is a product of this world, keep our focus on the glorious and eternal life to come, and then you can fix the hurts. Even scars and hurts from years ago…. Those just need more extensive surgery. You know what I mean?”
“…know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus.” can be found in Philippians 4 (verse 7)
I wanted to be sure to make this connection. Crevasses in the mind as well as voids in the heart are often filled with things of this world. If you truly want a peace that surpasses all human understanding, there is only one thing to fill the gaps– a belief in Christ alone. This is the only relationship that has not failed me on earth. He knows my heart and He knows when I am earnestly exercising full-out faith. At this moment in time, I am in training for a marathon.
Training for a marathon takes time.
Training for a marathon takes patience.
Training for a marathon takes perseverance.
Training for a marathon is painful, especially if you push too far, too fast.
I will continue to journal my thoughts here and I do hope to be helpful to at least one searching soul. I have written about digging deep and finding a church home. There isn’t one place for everyone but there is One who is superior; that is where my trust remains.
The words from Philippians were often spoken as a benediction as we departed from our church services in my youth. These words were planted as a seed in my heart. For this I am eternally grateful– they have been my comfort and song during some stormy times. I am grateful to have dug even deeper to know these words in a relationship with Christ rather than a practiced religion. Continue on with verses 8 and 9:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me—do it—and the God of peace will walk with you.”
Garbage in. Garbage out.
If you just cannot get out of the rut you are in, consider what you are taking in…
What you read
Give yourself a 21-day cleansing to see if things start to improve. Getting into a rut likely took a lot longer than 21 days.
Week 1 will be hard.
Week 2 will be easier.
Week 3 will be better.
Moving on, week 4 will feel more natural.
Depending on what you used to fill the voids in your heart and mind, this will take time, but it isn’t impossible.
Nothing is impossible with God.
My thoughts will jumble along as I train for this marathon. I am grateful for some recent revelations for my personal life and practically felt an immediate relief after a conversation last night. Honesty hurt but not as much as it would have if I wouldn’t have jumped off the path I was on. I will continue to train.
Jump back just a tad in the book of Philippians for this encouragement. Keep pressing on.