Thinking On the Lovely
|“Whatever is lovely…think about such things”|
“You worry too much,” my cousin wrote the words that so aptly describe the workings of my mind. Just a few weeks ago I was held captive by worry as I drove home from work, not an uncommon happening.
Anxious thoughts crept into my mind and spiked on the Richter scale of patterns zigzagging across the internal screen. As I wound up the road home, the intensity of worrisome scenarios built for the questions with no answers playing on the field of my mind.
My heart beat raced keeping pace with the mind game as I flipped through pages of ways to control the outcome of what could become the reality of my worst scenario. I was almost to the stop sign when I heard the Lord whisper, “You could just think about something good.”
“Could I really JUST DO THAT?” I wondered. It’s always been impossible for me to change the direction of my thoughts without a logical explanation to refute them. But the Lord did not say, “Change the direction of your thoughts.” He said, “…just think about something good.”
I breathed in slowly and deeply, slowing the rapid pace of my heart. I looked out the car window and saw the sturdy mountains against the backdrop of a clear, blue sky. Mmmm. The beauty began to seep into every fiber of my being and the peace that passes understanding began to control my thoughts.
I was amazed. I had never experienced any change in my thinking as dramatic as that before. Just as surprising was the discovery much later that my anxious thoughts were far from the reality of the situation I was stewing over.
Gradually, I’m learning that the anxious thoughts and racing heart do not always signal a need to take action. Often they signal an overactive nervous system that needs to be infused with peace from good thoughts.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:7,8 NIV
I actually like the translation in the Amplified for verse 8 better as it elaborates on what could be admirable thinking:
“…whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and LOVABLE, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things–fix your minds on them.” Philippians 4:8 Amplified
Good Morning Janis,
Thank you so much for sharing this. How I relate to it. I will come back later to read again. I always worry too much and I am apt to panic. I know what you are saying about concentrating on something good. Lovely encouraging scriptures.
Beautiful picture too.
God Bless – Nita
Worrying is time wasted and can eventually damage even your own health. It is one of the least productive activities we can do, but it is also one of the hardest things not to do! When I look to God, come face to face with Him and trust in His guidance, I can break free and receive His help. When I keep my eyes focused on God, I realize I truly have nothing to worry about. I feel safe! 🙂
Isn’t it awesome when we hear His voice calming us and redirecting our thoughts? 🙂
Blessings and hugs,
I used to be a terrible worrier but as the years went by the Lord taught me to rely so much on Him. I won’t say that I still don’t worry – it’s hard not to at times but those are the times when I pray and ask the Lord to take that burden off me……… and He gives me peace.
You speak truth with these words in this lovely post. How much more satisfied and content would we be if we just lived out what Paul tells us in Philippians. I know I so often take the difficult road in life because I allow worry to steal my joy.
Praying you are enjoying a wonderful Sabbath rest today.
The Bible says it so simply, do not be anxious about anything… But sometimes it is so hard not to. Great story.
I remember the first time I really noticed this part of John 14:27 in the amplified version:
[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
It comes back often now when I start to fret or worry.
Your photo is divine!
What an amazing picture. Focusing on the lovely things has a way of changing our perspective.
Found your blog at Scripture and a Snapshot..and I’m so glad! So inspirational!
I love the music playing also. It really calmed my spirit as I am very nervous about a situation at church….important meeting tonight.
I’ll be back more often. I’m your newest follower 🙂
what vibrant colors!
and i love verse 9. “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Isn’t the peace of God amazing? It really does pass all understanding. I love these verses from Philippians. Thanks, Janis, for sharing your heart.
Beautiful picture and hard but good lesson to learn! Karen
Janis, I loved this one so much. You know how I share that *anxious spirit* – and the way you described what a worried mind does was so right on. It’s exactly what I do. I love what the Lord said to you. So many times, people have said to me, “Just relax.” That really doesn’t work. But, that’s a whole different thing than the Lord telling us to re-focus. I can’t stop thinking, but I can change what I think about, huh?!
Don’t you love how He provides the antidote to worry? First, PRAY. And then, FIX your thoughts. Both involve a willful change of direction. Both involve choice.
I WILL pray about it all – and I will FIX (not just consider) my thoughts on the things of the Lord.
My worries may not dissipate immediately (however, I love how you were shown that they indeed can!) – but, in turning to the Lord, His thoughts can counteract the lies of the enemy that get my adrenaline going.
Thanks, Janis – this was really one that I could identify with.
GOD BLESS! xoxo
Beautiful thoughts. This is good advice for all of us. I know it is for me. There is so much loveliness in this world that it should not be hard to do. The picture is more than lovely. It is beautiful.
Blessings and beautiful thoughts,
A very good message especially now when there is so much to worry about, I mean trust the Lord for, in this unstable world!
Oh, how I can relate. I have found rather than fighting those anxious feelings or trying to whip myself into shape, just handing them over to the Prince of Peace and begin focusing on Him. He is so Faithful.
What a wonderful picture and a wonderful message to go with it! I found your blog via scripture and a snapshot. Have a wonderful day!
What a thought provoking post with a stunning photo! I am so like you, developed the bad habit of not “immediately” turning off the worry, fear and other negative thoughts. Like you, I have found looking at nature brings the reality of HIS love, care, protection so close. I believe that one cannot truly SEE nature and hold on to worry. I love the way you composed this post. Have been in NC on vac during Oct. The entire month of Nov is showcasing random moments of our trip. You are cordially invited to stop over at WILDFLOWERSANDCOUNTRYROADS.COM whenever you get the chance. Blessings