Yesterday, as I was sitting down for my daily devotional while Jr. napped, I opened to the two devotionals I'm working through. One is pretty general and one is on parenting, completely different authors, written at completely different times. They both presented Phillippians 4:8:
The author, Paul, is talking to the Phillippian people about what they should be filling their thoughts with in order to experience the Lord's peace. "Neato", I thought. What a nice coincidence that both devotionals would have me turn to the same scripture.
Then, today, both devotionals had me turn to the same scripture again! Jeremiah 2:13, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
When it comes to God, I don't think there are many coincidences. So, God must be sending me a message. If you've read much of this blog at all, you know that I'm a worry-wart and as anxious as they come. In psychology, we often practice "cognitive-behavioral" techniques to battle anxiety. These techniques have one examine their thoughts to determine which beliefs and thoughts are contributing to feelings of anxiety. Usually "what if" thoughts are behind feelings of worry. Cognitive-behavioral therapists encourage their clients to replace those what-if thoughts with more positive thinking (what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable . . .) in order to alievate feelings of anxiety.
Of course, God had this figured out way before Beck. In Phillippians 4:8, and throughout the Bible, God shows how guarding our thought life can lead to a peace that passes understanding. If we think on the blessings in our life and the provisions God has so faithfully provided (including our salvation!), feelings of anxiety are replaced by assurance. If we, on the other hand, place our worries in our own "broken cisterns," our old "stinkin' thinkin'" will prevail and we'll be nervous wrecks when life doesn't go as planned. And, when does life go as planned?
God again has shown me that HE is the ultimate therapist! He carries my every burden and worry and replaces it with joy and peace!