I’m in a great place now, but last week I was physically tired and struggling with staying positive. The haunting phrase, “If I had hands that worked, I could…” started worming its way back into my mind. It was not good and certainly not pretty as complaints started frequenting my lips. For many years when this phrase would take hold, I would immediately surrender my frustration to Jesus and then start doing as St. Paul suggests in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, noble, right; whatever is pure, lovely, admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”
But for some reason last week I couldn’t hold on to it. I was tired of the mental challenge of “thinking about such things” and the victim mentality was taking over. I knew I was in trouble. Rolling into what I call my “prayer space” near the fireplace in our family room, I bowed my head. After sharing my aching heart with the Lord and telling him I was having a hard time reaching for what was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, I took a big breath and quieted my mind. Lord, blow your grace into my heart and my mind this afternoon. I don’t want this worm to create a hardened heart. Your Word has always been my light, my guide. Why can’t I “think about such things” this afternoon as I have before? I’m here to rest in You.
After sitting quietly in His presence, taking several deep, slow breaths, a new sense of calm entered the room. The Holy Spirit flooded into my thoughts. “Be” what Paul says to think about. Be it right now. Don’t only think about it – be it. Be in the middle of such things. At first I didn’t know how to do this. But I simply centered my thoughts to the concept of all things true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable. What beauty came to my mind! What lovely images! Beautiful trees, sky, mountains, ocean, sun, peace, quiet, smiling friends. Your images may be different, but equally lovely when we center ourselves in God’s excellence.
Thank you Jesus for saving me once again from my own mental destruction and thank You for reminding me to come into Your Holy Presence.