Friday, October 27, 2006

Shake It Off

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you begin your day with a shout of, “This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it?” Or do the words of your mouth sound less than hopeful for a good day?

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Carolina Wren
Perhaps you are on a spinning wheel going from one awful thought to the next. Even at night, your mind is troubled with negatives thoughts.

How we see the day when we arise in the morning has a lot to do with how it will look all day long. If we look for good things in each day, we will find them. If we focus on our aches and pains, physical or emotionally, we will not find joy.

Habits are hard to break and if you begin your day by saying, “Oh! My aching back!” you may miss the kind of days you dream about. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”

Fill your mind with good things and every cell of your body will get the message that life is good and worth living. We are commanded to renew our minds.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

If you watch the news or read the newspaper in the morning, ask yourself if that’s what you want to believe about the day. The media will fill your heart with fear and trembling and make you think that life is evil. Just because “everybody else” watches the news and reads newspapers doesn’t mean you need to. I realized a few years after I got saved in the late 70’s that if I was going to get out of the many fears I had, I was going to have to give up things that kept feeding them, so we have not gotten newspapers since then and I have not watched the news.

If you’re watching soap operas, you will definitely believe life is full of misery and you will think that romance is the answer to it all. Both are lies.

Take the time you spend in newspapers and television and dwell on the Good News instead. Read God’s Word to you and memorize it so you can fill your mind daily and be renewed.

Do you want to know what God’s will is for your life? Are you looking for your purpose? Read again the words of Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Notice the good things of the day. It will be hard to do at first if you’ve been rehearsing all the bad things about life, so journal the good you see in each day for a month until you form a new habit of looking for and seeing the good in life. Your mind and body will respond in ways you never dreamed of. There is no way to be depressed when you begin to see God’s love for you in the Scriptures. Your physical body will respond and be renewed also.

Consider Proverbs 4:20-22 which says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

You can do this. You already do it all day long in some form or fashion. People look daily for their winning lottery number. They watch the clock at work to be able to go home. Some young folks are looking intently for the one they will marry. Make it like a scavenger hunt.

I always loved this as a kid and still do. We called our home in Alabama, The Refuge, and we would have gatherings of our Nature’s Sunshine managers and distributors and do fun things outdoors because most of them lived in the city. At one of the gatherings I designed a scavenger hunt and it was so much fun to see a group of adults act like kids again.

When things go wrong, don’t allow the devil to tell you that God did it. He is the deceiver. God can only do good. He sent His only Son to redeem us because He loved us and through Christ we are now children of God. He is not doing evil to you. He is a good Papa.

Life has its challenges and bad circumstances, but don’t let it get you down or kill you. Kick back! The Bible says in Psalm 91 that God’s Truth is our shield and buckler. This is our defense against the devil. Use it!

For a visual illustration of what to do with bad circumstances, consider the donkey that fell into a dry well and the owner could find no way to get him out. Thinking he was dead anyway, he decided to fill in the well with dirt to make it a memorial to his faithful donkey.

He threw one shovel of dirt in at a time and unbeknownst to him, every time that dirt hit the donkey, the donkey shook it off and stepped on it. As the owner looked to see how much more dirt he needed to add, he saw the donkey alive and well on top of the dirt. Of course, he continued throwing in dirt until the donkey was beside him again.

The moral of the story is, when life throws dirt at you, shake it off and step on it and keep doing it because you will rise to the top alive and well.

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