Our thoughts can be a powerful tool or weapon. They can be used to our benefit, or destruction. I found this out first hand and I want to share with you what God revealed to me.
I began learning this truth a few years ago when mold got into the walls of our old farm house. My health had been in a steady decline for more than five years. When it deteriorated to a point where I could barely walk from one room to another, my doctor decided to get some tests done. One was a stress test for my heart and the other was a pulmonary function test. I failed the Pulmonary Function test miserably. My doctor later told me that my lungs were in crisis and it would take intensive drug therapy, for an extended period of time to get them healed up.
That was nearly 4 years ago, and I am still recovering. Our insurance wouldn't pay to clean the mold out of our home, which meant we had to move. My husband and I raised our family in this home, so leaving it was very difficult. We ended up having to sell or throw out most of our possessions. Since we could not afford to purchase another home, we moved in with my mother. Which has worked out well since she has Parkinson's and appreciates not having to live alone anymore. It also enabled us to continue living on our family farm where we keep our horses. Don't be mistaken, this transition has been a difficult one. It was both emotionally and spiritually hard for all of us.
Now, I can see were many of you would think this was a terrible thing to go through. You're right, it is terrible but it has also been a time of great blessings. God has definitely taught me some valuable lessons about how our thoughts effect us. I want to share with you what I learned first hand, and I pray it will have a positive effect on your life as well.
The first 2 months after my diagnosis I was really weak. I couldn't walk more than a few feet without feeling as though I would pass out. My lungs just couldn't get enough oxygen to my body to sustain much activity at all. For a gal that has spent most of her life outdoors doing hard physical labor, this was a tough adjustment. I really hadn't realized how much of my self-worth had been based upon accomplishments. I also had to learn that God and my family loved me for who I was, and not for what I could do.
It was only a few short days before I began to get overwhelmed by depression and discouragement. All I could think about, was what I could no longer do. My doctor had made it plain that my recuperation would take a long time. I knew if I sank into a deep depression it would only hinder my recovery. That's when I decided to pray and seek God's wisdom and guidance on how to handle this radical change that had been thrust into my life. I was determined I would not stay sick one moment longer than I had to, and if I was never going to have my own home again I would adapt.
The first thing God showed me was that I needed to change my focus. I needed to focus on what I could do, and refuse to consider the things I could no longer do. Some of the verses that helped me during this time were in II Corinthians 10:3-5 :
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds: casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (KJV)
I love the truth in these verses. They tell us that we have to cast down those imaginations and anything else that exalts itself as being greater than God. If we practice that, then God can pull down those strongholds and bring into captivity every thought we have to the obedience of Christ.
I decided to follow God's advice back then, and I am still following it today. I started by praising God each day for everything I could do. Even if it was as simple as being able to walk to another room and back. I focused on what I was able to do and had a thankful heart. I refused to allow my thoughts to remain on my limitations. Another important thing I chose to do was focus on the needs of others. On the days I could breath good enough to talk, I would ask God to put someone on my heart that I could call and encourage. I also spent a lot of time praying for the needs of others. I was tempted often to sink into self-pity but God always helped me stay focused.
It was hard to practice controlling my thoughts at first. Whenever I found myself dwelling on negative things I would cast those thoughts down and ask God to bring them into His captivity. As the months passed it became easier to control those thoughts. That is the power of praying the Word!
I still have trouble with my lungs, but nothing like it was four years ago. When I went to my doctor for a follow up exam last year. He told me I may want to consider the possibility my lungs were as good as they were ever going to get. I told him I respected his opinion, but if he didn't mind I was going to wait and see what God had to say about it. Now, a year later, my lungs are better than the doctor ever imagined they could get. Call me crazy if you like, but I am expecting them to get even better.
If I had let discouragement and depression rule my thoughts I don't believe I would be experiencing the health I have today. In Mark 10:27 and Romans 8:28 (KJV), God tells us that with Him all things are possible, and all things work together for our good. When we practice controlling our thoughts we open the door for God to prove just how true those verses can be.
I encourage everyone who reads this testimony to think about your thought life. Then, ask God to bring into captivity each thought that is having a negative effect on your circumstances. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make in you, and in those around you.
Word count: 1138
From the beginning the Lord let me know I was to share whatever He inspired me to write. Now, over a decade later, I'm still sharing what He's given.