Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drainage Ditches

Every day, we navigate between the things
that drain us and the things that replenish us.
Our health--both spiritual and physical--
is contingent upon how much time
we spend in each of those areas.

Paul boasted of things that 
drained him of his strength:
dangers, hunger and thirst, lashings, 
sleeplessness, extreme cold.
After all these extreme hardships, he says,
Then, besides all this, I have 
the daily burden of my concerns...
2Corinthians 11:28

The big drainers are obvious.
If we are under a lot of pressure,
if we are in a high stress season,
if we are sick or sleep deprived, 
we are well aware our strength gets drained.
But, "Beside all this...I have daily concerns."
It's those daily concerns that can get us.
If we aren't careful of how we manage those,
we wind up drained, weary and discouraged.
If those things just came with a warning sign.
Well, actually, they do.
The Holy Spirit warns us continually 
to keep out of drainage ditches:
talking negatively, thinking critically,
meditating on tomorrow's problems,
contemplating the "what ifs" of today, 
embracing the lies that parade as truth,
judgments, self-focus, unforgiveness...
The bad and ugly meet us every day.

Paul knew how to stay out of drainage ditches.
You’ll do best by filling your minds with 
things true, noble, reputable, authentic, 
compelling, gracious—
the best, not the worst; 
the beautiful, not the ugly; 
things to praise, not things to curse. 
Phil 4:8

Paul said that he "learned" contentment.
Those kinds of thoughts aren't our "go-to's."
I want to "learn" to replenish myself regardless
of what daily burdens or concerns confront me.
I usually can't control my circumstances,
but I can choose to keep out of the drainage ditch.
Your own ears will hear a voice saying,
This is the way you should go. Walk in it!

The Lord leads me with unfailing love and faithfulness.
Psalm 25:10

1 comment:

  1. I have read this a few times since last Thursday and sent it on to the family to ponder. What a great take on a favorite couple of verses. I love the wording of Phil 4:8 in the Message. Praying that we both can focus on what is true, authentic, compelling, gracious... I love you friend and thank you for being gifted at communicating the heart of the Lord for us. Time together soon!!!