You may not know this, but I’m a writer. Creating stories in my mind occupied much of my time as a child. Over the years, I’ve scribbled ideas on napkins (though that will stop considering the state of affairs with paper products—smile), notepads, corners of newspapers, and any tidbit of paper I could grab.
I have more notes of possible devotionals than I will likely ever turn into full posts. I see ideas everywhere … and I mean everywhere. A thought even came to me once while I waited for an x-ray at an emergency room. Inklings might swirl through my head while I sleep. Try waking up in the middle of the night attempting to put a note in your phone without glasses or light! Sometimes the words are indecipherable in the morning.
But that’s what happens with a creative mind. I can build all kinds of scenarios by grasping flailing thoughts. They’re like a trail that seems to have no end.
Unfortunately, another thing can occur while chasing contemplative trails better left unfollowed. My mind can jump to all kinds of what-ifs and bring an overabundance of fearful situations to my mind.
At those times, my heart beats faster; sweat builds. My brain races; my stomach turns. What ifs flood my mind like bees attacking a honey-stealing bear.
It is actually quite important for me to recognize this. If I don’t, I can’t put a stop to the warring within me. So how do I stop it?
Actually, I don’t. I run to the only One who can.
When I say run, I mean I:
speak the name of Jesus
quote Bible verses
read from His Word
listen to worship and praise music
pray alone or with a friend
And I do these things … most of the time.
But the other night, I found myself unable to quote even one full verse. I couldn’t bring all of the words of any song to my mind as I tried to go to sleep. The bombardment of an infodemic (*) packed world held me in its power.
I could only do one thing. And it was the most necessary thing.
I called out multiple times, “Jesus, please.”
The next morning, I woke up and fell to my knees—not out of desperation but out of a sense of peace and serenity.
Later, as I climbed into bed and worrisome thoughts began again, I went to the Word and reinforced the verses God directed me to. I spent more time connecting with my Abba throughout the day and focused on reaching out to others who might also be dealing with moments of fear on the verge of panic.
As I climbed into bed, I said, “True, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy.” (From Philippians 4:8) I thanked God for all of the blessings I could think of.
The next thing I knew, my eyes opened to a new day.
God is good and He is in control. No matter what’s happening around us, He is still on the throne. Let’s rest in that today and not allow the devil to swarm us with the what-ifs of life, especially now. These are the things I’m doing to combat the overabundance of fear-creating information. I would love to hear what you are doing to help yourself handle the stresses of what’s happening. It would be a blessing if you would share what God is showing you in the midst of what’s going on.
*Infodemic is a word referring to excessive amounts of information which may actually be more harmful than good. (Based on Oxford Dictionary and Collins Dictionary)