Sometimes I throw up word pictures on my Instagram, which is synced to my Twitter, which is tied to my Facebook (and am I the only one thinking about the hip bone connected to the thigh bone?). These takeaway thoughts are always pulled straight from what’s going on in my own life. Meaning, I’m “preaching” to myself first, and then to anyone listening out there in social media land. Today, I thought I’d flesh out something I posted Tuesday night. Here are those words and the picture that accompanied them:
I have endless reasons to praise Jesus but on the top of my list right now is how He rescues me from painful circular thinking.Be it a perceived offense, a disappointment, or a worry, if I resist the urge to nurture it and ask Him for help, He is faithful to give me grace to quit thinking what I don’t want to be thinking and keep me from saying what I will regret saying. Praise Him.
Back story: I posted that picture after a royal struggle with Jesus to let go of fresh wounds that had come from several directions in one simultaneous strike. One of the issues is ongoing. It’s always requiring me to hit my knees for fresh grace, but a couple of the others were totally unexpected and reminded me of the line, “Et tu, Brutus?”
I knew I didn’t want to respond in kind. I really, really wanted to go toe to toe with some folks, but I knew I’d be acting out of anger and I needed to stand down. Which is all good except that I couldn’t quiet the nonverbal rebuttals happening in my head. I was having endless conversations with imaginary folks, defending myself and pointing out why they were wrong and how they had hurt me.
Mind you, experience had taught me where help could be found if I would bend my will and ask for it.
Could you humor me and reread that last sentence aloud, only this time I want us all to pause at the word IF and give it a great full-throated emphasis? For if is where everything hinges.
God wants me to have a healthy, renewed mind but He gives me the choice to yield and be renewed, or stew and spoil.
The release from painful circular thinking lies with my will, not God’s. And yet, as much as I know this, I can still be prone to holding the hurt to my chest instead of letting the Great Physician at it, as if nurturing sore feelings ever do anything more than extend the emotional turmoil. Silly human.
This week I read a quote from Ken Boa, national author and speaker on prayer, that rocked me: “Without God I can’t. Without me He won’t.”
My will holds me captive to my pain or opens me to His restoring power. Oh, the great and potent gift of free will. It is so costly.
It costs God the life of His Son.
It costs me, me, but when I pay that cost, I have access to His amazing empowering grace.