“They surrounded me like bees…in the name of the Lord I cut them off! I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.” Psalm 118:12-13
There is a field that I cross on a regular basis that currently has about 1 billion clover flowers in full bloom. It really is beautiful, but I feel like I am walking through a mine field because buzzing around each one of those billion flowers is a stealthy bee. They are everywhere! Here’s how it goes: one step, stop and look around for potential death, find a clear spot, another step, more potential death (I am not allergic to bee stings so I am greatly exaggerating but you get the picture)…it must be a hilarious sight. It takes me forever to get to the other side! I know that these little honey bees are going about their business, pollinating and paying absolutely no attention to me. But to my mind’s eye they grow into large Viking warrior bees whose only thought is to make me suffer for my intrusion into their field.
One day as I was walking around the field to avoid the little militants, I started thinking about how often this same process actually happens in my thought life. How often do I let my thoughts drift into these self-induced mine fields? How often do I worry about things that shouldn’t be a big deal but in my mind turn into something that stops me dead in my tracks? What little problems have I puffed up into bigger and bigger problems as I continually fret over them? How often have I skirted around something because I was unreasonably afraid?
You see, I attach myself to an idea (whatever has my attention at the time). I turn it over and over in my mind. I think about all the things that could go wrong, what I would do if those things did go wrong, and how I would survive the impending apocalypse of that actually happening! Not really to that extent, but I do become obsessed and think about it repeatedly. Basically, I meditate on it. But these meditational talents could be put to much better use. If I were to fill my mind with thoughts of God, His character, His work, His Word, His promises, and His glory, how much better would my mindset be to face those little problems that inevitably come up?
God’s Word says:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil 4:4-9
These are the things that should be consuming my thoughts—things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise—not the things that I have no control over, like the “what if’s” that never come true or the “oppressor” who never appears (Isa 51:13). The Lord is near to me and His return is soon, so why should I worry? I’ve been invited to present my requests to the God of peace so that His peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What an incredible invitation. I think I’m going to meditate on that for a while…
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24