Hello vibrant friend!
You may recall that last week I shared some thoughts on how to deal with persistent worry. While I planned to write about a different topic this week, I read something the other morning that I thought would make a good follow up to my last post.
I don’t know about you, but when I struggle with a worry, besides feeling anxious and uncomfortable, I also often deal with guilt and disappointment because I know that a life of worry is not what God wants for us. I feel like if only I had stronger faith or was a more mature Christian I wouldn’t have these struggles.
Then I came across this statement by Pastor Bill Johnson in his book Experience the Impossible:
“As negative as it is to be so absorbed with a problem that we cannot sleep, it is encouraging in this sense: It reveals that we actually know how to meditate. We just need to change the subject matter."
He goes on to explain that “biblical meditation is…to fill our minds with what God says, running it over and over in our minds and hearts until the truth takes root in us. What God says then becomes more than something we quote; it becomes a part of who we are.”
Meditate to be Transformed
Bill is right, this is an encouraging perspective! It reminds me that, yes, of course worry is not good. But that basic pattern of behavior—mulling something over and over again—can be a beneficial when transferred to who God is and His truth. And I’ve at least got that pattern down pat.
Last week, I suggested that when worry plagues us like persistent dandelions, we dig into God’s word and find His truth for our specific situation. This is an excellent first step. But once we do that, we need to meditate on that truth until, as Bill says, “it becomes a part of who we are.”
Bill Johnson also acknowledges that shifting our worry over a problem into meditation on God’s word is easier said than done. This too is encouraging to me. It helps to know that a pastor who is light years ahead of me in Christian maturity is apparently sometimes challenged to override worry. It strengthens me to stop worrying about worrying. Instead of wasting my energy on feeling guilty for not feeling peaceful, I can say “You know what, sometimes worry happens to the best of us. The important thing is that I turn my energy to God’s truth.”
Treasures to Dwell On
Here are a few verses about who God is and what He’s promised us that I’ve been meditating on lately. Like thirsty soil, my heart soaks them up. Though I may not always see or feel results as quickly as I would like, I’m going to keep on watering my heart with these truths until they become a part of my mental, emotional, and spiritual DNA. I know in time they will produce the fruit of faith and peace.
- “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” Romans 8:28 (NLT).
- “But the godly shall flourish like palm trees and grow tall as the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own garden and are under his personal care. Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green. This honors the Lord and exhibits his faithful care. He is my shelter. There is nothing but goodness in him!” Psalm 92:12-15 (TLB).
- “Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us” 2 Timothy 2:13 Living Bible (TLB).
I hope you are encouraged! You are in my prayers!
What do you do to help turn your worry into meditation? Are there any specific verses you've been soaking in lately? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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