Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
– 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do you ever feel like you’re being ganged up on? Recently, I think the animals in and around my home are out to get me.
A few days ago while hiking with my eyes glued to the trail, I almost stepped on a huge snake. Before determining whether it was poisonous or not, I high tailed it home to be safe, cutting short my much needed stress-relieving exercise time.
At home, I discovered mice had built numerous nests in my file boxes of teaching materials. Written documents printed and ready to be passed out are now chewed up and shredded into piles. It’s back to the drawing board for most of these documents, since the computer they were saved on crashed a few weeks ago.
Later, I heard a loud crash on the porch. Rushing to see what it was, I saw my sweet dog Henry staring at the toppled-over woodpile, tail wagging. My best guess is he was chasing a rabbit or squirrel. When they hid behind the stack of wood, Henry must have dug into it, causing the deck to look like a disaster area.
As I estimated how many hours it would take me to clean out all the file boxes, rewrite the documents, and restack all the wood, my mind drifted to the devastating pictures I’d seen early that morning. Hurricane Florence has left businesses, roads, and whole neighbors drowning under water. The cleanup in the wake of Florence won’t take hours, it will take years.
That slight shift in my thinking made my problems seem small and silly. My animal encounters weren’t permanently damaging, they were simply distracting. Big difference.
How often do we blow small distractions up into huge disturbances in our lives?
I once heard it said that “If the enemy can’t destroy you, he’ll work overtime distracting you.” I can certainly attest to that. But I’ve found that prayer is one way that we can fight our way through distraction. Prayer has the power to shift our hearts and minds to God, and we focus on him alone.
I keep a list of favorite scriptures by my front door. When I feel overwhelmed with unexpected distraction, I grab my list and walk “prayer circles “around my house. As I walk, I read God’s word, pray for today’s circumstances, and for others in need. With each lap praises flow, faith rises, and new hope awakens.
Don’t call me crazy! Try it. Write down 4-6 of your favorite verses from the Bible on a 3x5 card or sheet of paper. Put your walking shoes on and get moving. Circle your house praising and thanking God for His goodness in the midst of life’s messiness. Read His word and believe these truths you claim. Remind yourself and your enemy that no matter what distractions are thrown at you, you will say…
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Pray circles around your circumstances. Let hope rise to combat the waves of worry or the darkness of despair. When you fight your daily battles with praise and prayer, no distraction can stop you in your tracks, because prayer will give you a renewed perspective.
Don’t stop following Jesus when the going gets tough, instead keep moving…rejoicing always, praying continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1Thes. 5:16-18) This is the victorious life you are called to live.
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