Do you ever feel like you can’t control your thoughts? That they zing through your brain too fast? Or that they focus on the wrong things? Join the crowd. God’s Word has an antidote. It’s up to us to use it.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
On the farm long ago, I had a pet cow. I spent time petting her and murmuring endearing words. She loved the attention, often nuzzling me. Along with our other cows, she often lay down and chewed her cud. Cud chewing is an interesting topic about cows and other ruminants that regurgitate their food and chew it again. As they do, they secrete saliva, which contains a natural antacid that helps to buffer the first compartment of their stomachs. It helps them digest hay better and eat more feed, which helps them produce more milk. Their rumination squeezes the nourishment out of the food they eat.
Such a lesson is thought-provoking. The word, meditate, means to ponder and chew on God’s Word. But focusing our minds and freeing them from uncontrolled thoughts is not easy. Meditation on God’s Word takes time and effort. It might mean avoiding questionable or harmful behavior and hurling our negative thoughts from our minds. Such things can erode our faith.
God can’t use us for His purposes when we stop trusting Him and allow fear to control our minds. That’s why Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, “In nothing be anxious, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Our best antidote to anxiety and fear is to squeeze the nourishment out of Scripture, like a cow chewing its cud. Jesus would have us be mindful at all times of His promises and teachings. Scriptural meditation is vital to our spiritual health. It means focusing our thoughts on the positive and good, those things that honor God and bring us His peace and joy even amid difficult circumstances.
Philippians 4:4-8 advises us to think on “…whatever things are true, whatever things are just [our thoughts about right living toward others] … and whatever things are pure …”—our moral thoughts that are stable and well-balanced. Paul’s further advice asks us to consider “what is lovely and of good report,” compared to thoughts filled with complaints. Paul concludes his advice with the admonishment to meditate on the things that are worthy of praise and honor the Lord.
Our thoughts are supremely important in that they display our words and actions to the world.
Lord, thank You for Your Word that inspires us to become of good use to those around us. Cause us to meditate daily on, ruminate on Your promises and commands. In Jesus’ name, amen.