Some time ago, a neighbor’s dog bit me on the leg. I won’t go into the details. Let’s just say that I was pretty shaken up. It was a big dog and he meant business.
What do you do when reality sets in? A dog bite is nothing to take casually. There could be serious ramifications.
- A trip to the doctor
A few days later I learned that the same dog jumped up on another person’s back. The person was not hurt because they were able to get away.
However, my mind went crazy thinking about what if that had been me. It was a brief moment of PTSD with imagination added to it.
The dog did not knock me down, but he could have. And because I am older, I would not have been able to get back up. The dog could have mauled me. Fear set in big time.
Here is where the problem came in. My mind started to play over and over the scenario that could have happened. Have you ever done that? Many people call it future tripping. What if this? What if that?
The Bible has a solution for our future tripping and “what ifs.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
Just a simple formula to erase fear.
- Talking to God (prayer)
- Making our request (supplication)
That my friend leads to peace.
But there is just one little problem. I have to make a choice here. You see, sometimes I want to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I want others to feel sorry for me.
Instead, I must step forward and take my thoughts captive as they steer my feelings. And we all know that captives don’t willingly surrender. They put up a fight.
If I don’t do this, then I become a prisoner, controlled by my negative thoughts.
So here is what I did to take my thoughts captive.
- Talk to God about it
- Make my request – “Lord I need your help finding something to be thankful for.”
- Thanksgiving- “This dog bite and the possible scar can always remind me that you, Lord, were protecting me. You did not let the dog knock me down. You did not allow the bite to be deep. You are good, Lord.”
We are free to let God direct our thoughts. That is a blessing.