It’s time to stop complaining. As a warm spring rain accompanied by windy gusts graces my Thursday, I have already thought of three negatives about the rainy day.
All of those things make me feel grumpy and annoyed.
But it’s just rain. Why should it steal away any part of my joy?
As a matter of fact, the rain actually makes the trees pop with vibrance. They even seem a little happier out there dancing in the breeze and drinking in the drops. Plus, this is excellent napping weather, AND I don’t feel guilty about not pulling up weeds and planting flowers.
Did you see what I did there? Did you notice the shift in perspective? I’m going to go deep, so stick with me here.
I’ve been doing some studying on my thought life and how God wants to renew our minds. I don’t know if you do this, but I sometimes dwell on negative stuff or even dream up things to think about that could go wrong or might not work. It’s terrible. When I was in college, a very sweet friend and mentor of mine, Mrs. Jahncke, told me to be careful about vain imaginings. All those scenarios I dreamed up or problems I dwelt on were doing nothing to help me grow. If anything, they were holding me back.
The mind is a very real battlefield. What thoughts we entertain, the things we dwell on, the lies we tell ourselves. All that stuff can keep us from seeing the truth and from growing. It’s scary when you think about it. If not kept in check and sifted through, our thoughts can really mess us up.
For example, if we live and breathe and move around in all our complaints and negativity all the time, how we will ever recognize blessings, and goodness, and love. We will miss opportunities brought to us because our focus is on ourselves—our evaluation of things, our pain, our loss.
I know there are times when we’re hurting so bad that’s all we can see. I get that. It’s real and raw, but those times are much rarer than you might think. And even then, healing comes when we turn eyes to truth—to God.
The Bible says to rejoice in all things. He even repeats it. “I’ll say it again. Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Right after that, he says not to be anxious but to pray about everything, and do you know what comes next? He tells you what you should think about. I have this verse written on a piece of paper in my kitchen, and when I start thinking about something negative, I take that negative thing and go through the verse. I focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Sometimes it’s really hard, and I have to skip one or two of those. But every time it’s helped. A lot.
Maybe it can help you too.
Warrior, I pray you have showers of blessings today and can take your thoughts captive to the truth!
Now, I’m going to go for a walk in the rain!
Peace to you and if you have any words of encouragement about how to deal with negative, complaining thoughts, please put them in the comments, so others can be encouraged by what you’ve learned.