When I woke up today my first thought was – I think I made a mistake. My second thought was – well this will prove to be an interesting day. Some might say, “You got up on the wrong side of the bed.” I don’t really know what that means, but as far as being in a grumpy mood. Not so. This morning was more somber. Perhaps the thought was pushed forward because of certain stresses in my life right now combined with forward thinking, and attempting to problem solve. Typically when problem solving I run through scenarios with plausible solutions. But what happens when there is no plausible solution? When the solution is out of your control? And what if the mistake is related to more than one thing? Talk about a tangled mess! Has anyone else ever thought “I think I made a mistake?”
It all began with a dream, desire, and dedication. There’s such joy, hope, aspirations, and excitement. Isn’t that how it always starts? Then over time mixed in with struggles things began to deflate. I was talking with a friend and sharing my thoughts about the mistakes I may have made and he said to me, “You should look at things like you do when you write. When you write there’s a perspective that outweighs all the odds.” I let that roll around my head for a while before writing any words. The conclusion I’ve come up with is the pressures of life, and its unforeseen circumstances, can certainly distort the thinking.
At times life just seems to blow in at you from all four corners of the earth. The North wind comes in and brings things to an end with her freeze; the West wind with her dust to cover up the path in front of you; the South wind turns up the pressure with her heat; and the East wind that combines all the others causing your thoughts to toss all around. Have any of you ever experienced being in a windstorm with your thoughts? When the winds come in it can be very hard to calm them in our own strength. As I continued to let my friends comment blow around in my mind, I went to my bible study for today, and appropriately it is titled “Set Your Mind” Daniel – Beth Moore. Go ahead, laugh out loud! I certainly did.
Set your mind – immediately took my mind to Romans 12:2. I like the New Living Translation as it reads, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Ro. 12:2a NLT. For a moment this thought crept in – isn’t it easier to set your mind when life is good, and things are not on the verge of falling apart? Whoa – deep I know. For those in the North reading this put your snow shoes on, for those in the South grab your floaties this may be a deep one, and we want to stay on top.
The next question we’ll look at is: if everything always went good and smooth, would we grow, and seek God? See deep. I would encourage you if you’ve never studied the life of Daniel to do so. Daniel went into captivity as a teenager based off of Daniel 1: 3-5, he was a young man. By the time we get to chapter ten, both the New Living Translation Study Bible, and the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible state Daniel is in his eighties; so for at least 75 years Daniel had set his mind. We know this because it says, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel, he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard.” Dn. 10:12 HCSB. Imagine having a mind like that! A purposed mind, so when the four winds blow in your mind stays focused on God. I’ve added that to my list of goals!
There are others we can emulate that kept focused: Noah, against all odds and opposition built an ark under the guidance and direction of God. Gen. 6-7; Moses, against the odds and his lack of experience led the Israelites out of Egypt. Ex. 12:31 – 42; David, against the stamina and strength of others defeated a giant, 1 Sam.17: 1- 11; and Mary (Jesus’ mother) against the odds of culture, and in her young age accepted the role of our Saviors mother, Luke 1:26-56. There are many more these are just a few. I shadow the words of Beth Moore “They lived way out on the edge” Daniel Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy. When the four winds blew in, and brought challenges, change, and uncertainty they remained focused, dedicated, and unmoved.
There’s a book by Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, excellent book! In it she says, “Satan frequently steals the will of God from us due to reasoning. The Lord may direct us to do a certain thing, but if it does not make sense – if it is not logical – we may be tempted to disregard it.” Meyer. Beth says, “a wavering mind writes an invitation in the sky, It tells him we’ll let him (Satan) cause our minds to wander” Moore. Isn’t that exactly what happens when the wind picks up, thoughts get tossed and turned, our minds begin to reason, and wander, until we have left the path. My friend is a wise man with his advice, “You should look at things like you do when you write. When you write there’s a perspective that outweighs all the odds.” Little did he know it would be my lesson for today.
As the winds blow in, and cause me to say – I think I made a mistake. Now my thought is, with God there are NO MISTAKES, “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” Dt. 32:4 NLT. As the winds blow in on our thoughts let us hold steadfast to His Word, put our blinders on, and “keep (our) eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Heb. 12:2b NLT. And, if you’re like me, you’ll add a little extra hairspray to hold your hair in place: Extra hold please.
*picture by hadeninteractive