Guest Post by Crystal Dillard
Have you ever received something wonderful that turned into a nightmare to live with? We are prone to compare, especially in the age of social media and self-promotion. Our own thoughts, and those of others when allowed to comment, affect how we see things whether we want to believe it or not. Sadly, we even turned lots of blessings into burdens just by thinking about them incorrectly. Don’t think so? Let’s explore.
We get that brand new vehicle and keep it spic-and-span clean for a while. Then it happens. The new wears off and the fast food bags and kids’ crumbs take over. Smudged bugs have been on that windshield for weeks, and they are the least of your worries because the water pump is acting like it wants to go out. Ugh!
What about praying for the perfect spouse? He arrives and helps around the house, and listens with full attention to every word you say. Then it happens. The new wears off and he starts to works late, complains about your cooking, tracks in mud on his boots, and leaves whiskers on the sink every time he shaves. Grrr. Or hey, maybe it’s the opposite for you. You imagined being single was going to be great, and it was, for the first few months, but not anymore. I imagine you can think of other things or people you once considered blessings but have turned into burdens for a season, too. Kids: they’re cute and sweet for a while, and then they learn to talk…to talk back…to talk about you…to stop talking to you…and it hurts. That job that once appeared to be a great step on the corporate ladder now zaps you of all your energy, and makes you want to curse. The new home, new neighborhood, new friend, new in-laws. Even our health brought of some sense of pride, until our bodies betrayed us over time. Now they’re all just sources of our discontentment, dissatisfaction, and negativity. Have you inadvertently turned some blessings into burdens just by changing the way you see and treat them? The good news is we can change that by purposefully altering the way we think about these people and things. The bible tells us that we have the power to reframe our view and today’s science tells us by doing so, we can rewrite our brain’s pathways from negative to positive.
This is good news, friends! Just because that’s how we’ve always done it, doesn’t mean that’s how we have to continue doing it. It begins with a decision. This decision may need to be remade several times before it starts becoming our natural response, and ultimately our victory. God knows our thoughts and He has the answers for our every concern. The bible is one of the ways He communicates with us. In it we find encouragement and direction like these verses that follow. Don’t rush through them. Read them slowly. You could even make them your prayer.
God, Your Word says that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:17a) Help me to see the gifts You’ve placed in my life, and to really find the joy in them that You intended by first finding my joy in YOU.
Lord, the bible says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in
heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11) Teach me to ask for Your help when I feel overwhelmed, angry, or scared. You are a loving Father. Thank You for loving me and adopting me as Your child. I have nothing to fear.
Thank You, Abba, for the reminder to keep my thoughts away from evil when you included “…whatever is true, 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 4:8) This is my checklist for what enters my home and my heart. I only want what pleases You in me.
Father, Proverbs 17:22 tells me that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” I’m sorry for the times I’ve been focused on what I don’t have instead of what I do. I have a home to clean, clothes to wash, and food to cook only because You are my
Provider. I will choose to rejoice in and handle these and all things (and people) in a way that honors You. Grant me the grace to effectively change my thinking so that my actions and attitude will improve.
Thank you for the instruction in Proverbs 4:23 too. It says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Give my heart spiritual eyes to really, truly see all the love You’ve poured out in my presence so that I don’t fall prey to the enemy’s attacks. Let me fall in love with Jesus over and over again and celebrate being Yours.
There are so many more verses on the topic. Look them up in your bible or online, and write down a few that speak to you directly. Or simply print these off to start. Set an alarm on your phone to text you a verse throughout the day at times when you think you might be most vulnerable. Times like before the caffeine has taken affect and Satan is replaying yesterday’s every mistake, lunchtime when you’re tempted to participate in the breakroom gossip, entering the house after work with the chance it could be messy in more ways than one, or at bedtime so that you can replace worrisome thoughts with God’s truth instead. Refer to these when you are feeling frustrated, weak, or wondering how you will make it one more day in the current situation. Remember, God is a good, good Father and He knows what is best for us. We can trust Him. He is a loving Daddy Who lavishes and protects His cherished daughters (and sons). Ask Him to assist as you recognize His blessings again. Fill your mind, eyes, ears, and heart with good things, and watch how your perspective will change! We are genuinely blessed!
Watch this short video called “Christmas Presents” that goes along with this message. I think you’ll enjoy it!