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. ~~ Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Have you ever noticed that the worst thoughts come when least expected? Maybe I'm the only one like that.
My mind tends to lean toward worrying about situations I have absolutely no control over. I confess--I have worried about decisions my husband will make. I worry about my adult son. I worry about my children's future. I worry about my friend who is battling cancer. None of my anxiety can solve any of those problems.
Therefore, I decided I had to be more intentional with my thoughts. Like pulling the weeds that pop up in the garden, I must remove the ungodly thoughts from my mind. But as in the garden, it's not enough just to remove the weeds. Something else must be planted in its place or the weeds will come right back. Thoughts that are removed from the mind will come right back if not replaced with other thoughts.
To go to work in the garden of my mind, I decided to take God's word and speak it out loud to myself when unacceptable thoughts come my way. I started with the key scripture above. I broke it down into the phrases separated by commas.
"Do not be anxious about anything." Okay, I'm not to be anxious about this situation (with my husband or my children). So now what?
"But in everything." Everything? That means all things or situations.
"By prayer and petition." I will tell the Lord everything on my heart and mind. He knows it anyway, so I might as well just say it all to Him.
"With thanksgiving." I have to stop and count my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for starting with Salvation through Jesus, forgiveness of my sins, my family, our health, our provisions and so much more.
"Present your requests to God." I ask Him for what I want to happen and then trust Him to give the answer He desires. I must realize I can make my requests, but need to trust He will answer in a manner that is best. I have to accept it may not be the way I want it.
After I went through this step by step process this past week, I experienced the peace of God in my mind. Have the circumstances around me changed? No. But my mind is protected by the word of God. His peace guards me.
I will continue to allow God's peace to protect my heart and mind this week by applying His word to my life. What's in your mind?