Spring is here. Green leaves and yellow daffodils are popping up everywhere. The warmer the weather, the more new blooms appear, and the more the old dark dead of winter is gone. I love spring.
That’s how I started this post.
It’s all true. Spring. Old gone, the new arrived. But when I began, I didn’t see this “craziness,” as I call it, on the horizon.
Fear. Panic. Anxiety. My mind began to swirl with “what if?” I forgot all about it being spring and one of my favorite seasons. I’m sure this is true for so many of us.
I’ll be honest, fear attacked my thoughts:
What do I do?
What will happen?
I need to hide.
I must protect myself.
God made our brains so fearfully and wonderfully that we recognize danger immediately. Then, our amazing brains make a choice, one we don’t even think about–do I run, or do I fight? Do I run away and hide? Do I stand and fight? But are those the only choices?
I believe that if we stop and take a deep breath, we have other choices. I learned more about these choices from author, counselor, and life coach, Holly Gerth, during her recent FaceBook Life video.
You can find it HERE.
According to Holly, when we stop and think for just a moment, we have other responses to fear.
First, we can challenge our thoughts.
When we feel that panicky feeling and uneasiness in our stomach, maybe we can take a deep breath. Breathe and remember God is sovereign. We need to ask ourselves:
Is this something I can control?
Is this something I want to control?
Will time and patience take care of this problem?
Should I be afraid?
We can take our thoughts captive.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Secondly–and this is the best thing we can do–take a pause and try to imagine how we can help others.
This is the reaction that comes when we rush toward a car wreck to help the injured, or volunteer during a natural disaster. Sometimes our first thought is to self-protect, and that’s not a bad thing. God made us that way. But what if we could surrender ourselves and think of others.
In this time, of course, have a plan for your safety as well as for others. It could be something as easy as phoning your friends. Contact those you
We can take our thoughts captive.
Think about these things
In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul writes,
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
What is true? God is sovereign. God loves us. God is for us.
What is noble? God is faithful and just. God is with us and will never leave us.
What is right? God uses everything for His good purpose.
What is pure? God is love. God is light, and in Him, there is no darkness.
What is lovely? God created everything. We are wonderfully made by Him.
What is admirable? Jesus is above all things. At His name, every knee will bow.
What is excellent? God’s gifts are amazing. His provision is perfect.
What is praiseworthy? Grace and mercy are worth our praise. Jesus is the name above all names.
Think about these things. But how do we keep our mind focused when we are surrounded by bad news, fear, and concern? Here are five ways to think about the best things:
5 ways to think about the best things
The enemy battles for our minds constantly. Even in the best of times, we struggle to keep our minds on what is good and right. When times are stressful, we have even more difficulty keeping our focus on the excellent and praiseworthy. We have to replace the negative with the true, right,
Here are five ways to help you think about the best things.
Talk it out.
Sometimes you need to share your thoughts with someone. Just speaking, what’s on your mind gets it out. During this crazy time, I have enjoyed phone calls and texts more than ever. I need the opportunity to be honest and say, “I’m scared,” without the concern of judgment. My sweet friends have been kind enough to listen and pray and let me get my fearful thoughts out. Talk it out.
Write it Out.
Studies show that journaling improves your mood, reduces stress, and improves our ability to regulate our emotions. There is no right or wrong, only the purpose. When I journal, I write a prayer to God–like a conversation. You may choose to write just one sentence summing up your day. The key is to get your thoughts out where you can make sense of them. Write it out.
Go to God’s Word.
When you are reading, memorizing, or meditating on scripture, spiraling thoughts of worry and fear can not live. The light of God’s Word destroys these destructive thoughts. Memorizing scripture writes God’s Word on your heart and mind. Meditating on His Word calms the chaos. If you feel yourself spinning out of control, God’s Word will replace concern with peace. Go to God’s Word.
Remember the Good Gifts
We have so much for which to be grateful. Being grateful then leads us to a desire to worship the Giver of gifts. Taking a moment to remember the good gifts we receive from our good Father, changes our perspective and reminds us that He takes care of us even in the scariest of times. That thankfulness turns to worship when we realize how much we are loved. To help me remember His great gifts, I keep a separate gratitude journal. Then, when my mind goes to worry and despair, I can remember, instead God’s great gifts. Remember God’s good gifts.
Give It To God.
We have heard so many times how prayer changes everything. It’s true. When we go to God and present our concerns and worries, He answers with peace. When we pray for His presence, He surrounds us. When we pray for healing, God has already begun to repair our brokenness. Paul told the Philippians not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, bring your requests to God, and He will give you peace that you can not comprehend. Give your cares to God in prayer.
Spring is here. I can see the season changing just outside my window as I write. The trees are green; the flowers are blooming just like they always do this time of year. These signs of spring tell me that God is on His throne, and He loves us. If I can keep my mind and thoughts on that truth and not focus on the swirling chaos and fear, then peace will come.
I’ve listed several ways I keep my focus on what is true and right, what steps do you take to keep your mind at peace and away from fear and worry? Would love to hear your suggestions.
What is one thing you can do today to serve someone instead of lingering in fear and worry? Any tips for helping and still practicing social distancing?