I am, by nature, an optimist. When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade, see the glass as half-full, and am the one to find the silver lining in the cloud. Anyone who knows me, knows this is my typical M.O. It’s the way I function, it’s how I cope. At least it had been up to this year. A strange thing has happened, as I walk through this wilderness valley, my personality and my regular way of functioning has changed. I feel like I’ve done a 180. Many days I don’t recognize the person that’s come to live here. I know that a big part of it is culture change; I don’t know anyone here, really, except for family. I haven’t made any personal connections, I haven’t put down roots, and that in itself is foreign to me. But even deeper than that, there is a fear that has settled into my conscious thoughts. It’s a niggling doubt that my spirit knows is untrue, but continues to haunt me, a little doubt that questions the love and provision of God for His children, for me. A doubt that challenges the all-knowing God in His will for my life, in my obedience to leading to a place that is not pleasant, instructing me to react in ways that do not come naturally to a person who is wounded and weary. It’s been a dry wilderness for sure, and it’s taken everything in me to remember what I know is true, and respond like Christ did. Somehow, what I know in my spirit has got to permeate my mind, and I find myself identifying with Paul and his teaching in Corinthians:
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 exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
It starts in the thought life. You can’t fight thoughts with weapons made for physical battle. It reminds me of the temptations that Christ encountered in His wilderness…and how did He respond? With God’s Word. He quoted Deuteronomy to the devil, and I think this is a powerful example for me. How else can we follow the instruction in Philippians?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I believe this is the key to victory in our thought life, so I’ve been collecting Scriptures to meditate on when I feel my spirit struggling with doubt and fear. For now, it’s an ongoing compilation in a page at the top of my blog that is updated as I find new Scriptures to fit my categories, and new categories that become relevant. I’d love to have feedback, share your favorites with me so I can add them to my stockpile, and feel free to share your journey here as well, I could use the camaraderie.