by Chris Manion
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
The year felt hard. My work as an author overwhelmed me. My shoulders and spirit sagged under the burden of what I felt called to do. Long signs gave evidence my lungs needed air after my thoughts pressed it out of me. Christmas neared and my heart hung heavy, not like the light-hearted child of God I am.
God spoke to my heart through a friend. “Your body is telling you you’re doing too much. You need to rest.” I heard the truth and embraced it. I went to bed early and slept nine hours, more than I’d slept in one night all year.
I recalled my husband’s words as we looked at the flowering bush in our yard that December morning: “Praise you, God, for your daily encouragement. Praise you, Creator of all beauty and life. Praise you, O wonderful Counselor, for your wisdom and truth that blooms in my heart.” The bush continues to bloom.
When I finished praising Him, I noticed I was smiling. My heart lifted like a joyful child. I analyzed what just happened. I’d been obedient to His word of truth spoken through a friend. I rested my body, the temple of the Lord. The morning light filled that temple with grace and beauty. My spirit sang its praise. The overwhelming exhaustion as well as my focus on my shortcomings disappeared with the dark of night.
This practice of obeying God as He directs my life confirmed Paul’s command to the Corinthians above. I also heard Isaiah’s proclamation in my soul: “See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV).
More Scripture verses bubbled up in my mind like sparkling water. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me” (Psalm 28:7 NIV).
His directive to rest my body shielded me from my burdensome thoughts and gave me strength for this new day. Praise God and His blessings! Once again, God had shown me my childlike need to trust and obey Him. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Dear God, help me to control my thoughts by obeying you and enjoying your gifts of peace and joy that continue to bloom. Amen.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Chris Sauter Manion loves to speak from her core Scripture verse: “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). She’s an award-winning author, leadership expert, and inspirational speaker who uses skills from building a $20 million sales organization to help people of all ages embrace the give and take of a deepening relationship with God. Chris lives with her husband of forty-plus years in Florida‘s panhandle where she kayaks and photographs the Gulf coast’s natural beauty. She is a grandmother of five wee ones and loses all sense of time when gardening, creating and cooking. Reach out to her at www.ChrisManion.com
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