Old Habits/New Tool Box

Old Habits/New Tool Box

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.

I woke up anxious and angry. Usually this is not a problem, because the Lord has given me tools that work perfectly to combat these times. But they do not work if I do not choose them as my weapons. 

Praise, pray, read, pray, praise are what I need to use all day, everyday. 

On this particular morning, my first thoughts were causing anxiety. Instead of doing what I knew I should, I grabbed my old tool box. I chose an old habit of warfare. I got to work on cleaning something out. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and would have been okay, IF I had first gone into praise, prayer and the Word. As I know from experience, pausing to do these first always leads me to the instruction of Philippians 4:8. And that causes me to put the thoughts back where they belong and focus on the Lord.

As I sorted through the items on a bookcase, creating keep and donate piles, obsessive thoughts tiptoed into the crevices of my brain. I knew this activity was not going to work. Getting busy with stuff to do has been a useless tool for years. It is a band aid that does not stick. It may distract me from the issues plaguing me at the time, but it never solves anything.

Once I had moved the keep pile across the basement to a cabinet and stacked the donate pile on a table to deal with later, I proceeded up to the kitchen to clean out the fridge. It was still the wee hours of a trash day morning. Getting what was no longer edible to the curb had now become a useless high priority. 

My OCD kicked in, bringing bitterness, self pity, and worry. They set up shop in my mind and were decorating for a party. They were leading me down a dark path on which I was now projecting the future. 

Fortunately, as I stood still at the kitchen sink, contemplating the now empty containers that needed washing, I realized I too needed cleaning.

I stopped what I was doing and picked up the Bible. One of my memory verses for Women’s Bible Study had a message for me. 

God’s word has an answer for everything. He even has something to say about projecting:  

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:33-34.

I could have put on worship music as I opened my eyes that morning, hit my knees in prayer, and listened for the whisper of the Lord giving me a word, or phrase to ponder. He always has the best advice. And He always shows up at the perfect time. But, old habits die hard, and on this morning I had allowed them to slip back in, giving Satan and his minions a foothold. Continuing on this path could have ruined the day for me and those I encountered.

God wants us to stay in the day. A practice that I struggled with for too many years. Fortunately, as I took the turn to walk in the wrong direction that day, I was blessed to remember where it would take me. I am so grateful God allows U turns.

As I reached for my phone to turn on the music, I thanked my Lord for bringing to mind Matthew 6:33-34 and Philippians 4:8-9. I am so grateful I have His word to read, study and hide in my heart. Between the music and the Word, the crazies were reined in. I could now pray and seek the Lord and His peace.

God’s mercies came anew, and I started my day over.

All this before 8am! How exhausting! What do I need to remember? Seek Ye first the kingdom! Stay in today!

How about you? Ever have one of those days?  It is never too early or too late to turn it over to the One who can make it right.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9.

P.S. God’s timing is so perfect. As I was proof reading this devotion, my dear friend sent me a link to a song. Ironically, the person who sent it to her last night had also sent it to me, but I was too busy to listen. This is a beautiful worship song titled “Sufficient for Today” by Maverick City Music. Please take some time to listen. It is a great reminder that projecting is not of the Lord, and He wants us to stay in today, remembering all the faithfulness He has provided. I will surely add it to my playlist.

Janice S.