Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -Philippians 4:8.
I’ve read this verse several times in the bible and it always seems easier said than done. To keep your mind focused on these things versus the evil that you hear about every day in the news. The battle is surely in the mind. For me at least.
I’ve struggled with chronic pain for over 20 years and lately I’ve started having these horrible flare ups that makes the pain worse. I’ve been through a lot of testing and have not found out what is wrong. I do know, however, that the more I’m worried or stressed the worse the pain is. I know that what I think about and focus on has a direct effect on my body. I wish it wasn’t that way sometimes. I wish that I could hear a sad story or read a horrific news account and then just let it go. But my mind begins to think about the victim, what the victim suffered, the families involved, etc. I could find myself going on and on getting angrier or depressed by the minute-and as a result in a lot of pain. But I have to realize that my worry will not help the situation.
So instead I’ve begun to take a moment to pray for those that suffer on a more regular basis. And ask God for an opportunity to use my gifts, talents and experience to help someone. Then I try to let it go. But it’s a fight for me. For some reason guilt threatens my mind. I actually feel guilty for not spending my time worrying. But that’s ridiculous! If I give my children a gift I want to hear them say thank you and be grateful and happy with their gift not turn around and say why didn’t you give this gift to someone else’s child?
I think in essence it is not my place to worry like this. I am not God. I cannot know why things happen as they do. In my study last year of Kay Arthur’s “Lord I Want to Know You”, I studied the names of God. God is sovereign (El Elyon) , God sees all things (El Roi) and God can heal (Jehovah Rapha). So who am I to worry like this? We cannot add any days to our lives by worrying. It is obvious that God did not create us to worry or be stressed since it ALWAYS has negative physiological effects on our bodies.
I feel like this chronic pain is my “thorn”. I used to pray that God would take it away. I mean FERVENT prayer! But I see now that it is a good reminder to me to stay humble and remember Who is really in charge of our lives. And now I am working on the lesson of being content and joyful in my present situation.
I am making an effort to follow the words of this scripture. I hope that you will too.