There we sat, in the emergency room, awaiting a CT scan for our preschooler. He had taken a hard fall on the garage floor about two hours earlier. Initial signs looked OK, but the doctors wanted to scan, just to be sure what we were dealing with. They were pretty sure he had a mild concussion.
A dangerous thing can happen when there’s time to wait in an emergency room. A person can start thinking some very disconcerting thoughts.
Oh, it doesn’t happen all at once. At first it’s just a feeling. You sense a gloominess welling up in your heart as you take in your surroundings.
You turn your attention away from this feeling for just a moment, tending to your child’s needs, trying your best to make him comfortable while he waits.
Before you even notice, the feelings come back: those nagging feelings of sadness, uncertainty, even fear, as you start to ponder how things could have gone for your child. But you stop. You see that he is fine and the nurses don’t seem to be terribly concerned.
So you wait a while longer, answer a few more questions for the nurses, and ask your little one if he needs a blanket.
And then, as if it never really left, the cloud returns. This time, instead of fearing for the well- being of your son, you turn your attention toward the ever-dreaded “what ifs.” What if we’re here someday because someone has a heart attack? Or a stroke? Or a car accident — it seems like there are so many car accidents lately. Which will be worse, the pain or the fear?
At this point you have two choices. You can either let those thoughts take root in your mind, branching out until they’ve turned into a full-blown forest of negative, destructive thoughts; or, knowing that those negative thoughts feed on themselves and multiply without mercy, you can choose to stop those thoughts dead in their tracks.
Your enemy would like for you to believe that there is nothing you can do to be free from this darkness that has wrapped itself around you. After all, you’re not choosing to have negative thoughts, you’re just reacting to life the way you see it. Can’t change that.
Oh, but you can!
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Your enemy wants you to fill your mind with fear, or dread, or anger, or resentment. He convinces you, by using these self-reproducing thoughts, that you are justified in your thinking, that your thoughts are true and that you need to respond to them.
But God wants you to capture those lies and cast them away, to demolish them, replacing them with life-giving truth.
This week, as I found myself at the threshold of another brush with depression, I conscientiously chose to “take every thought captive,” to hold each thought up to the light of truth, and to replace every lie with its corresponding truth. And guess what… it worked! I spent the rest of the evening comforting my son, congratulating him for doing a great job with his CT scan and the ‘straw in his arm’ (an IV), and feeling no sense of gloom.
The Truth had set me free.
That’s what God wants for you.
When you feel yourself slipping into the darkness of negativity, STOP. Put your thoughts to the test. Hold them in captivity so they cannot go out and recruit friends! Compare those thoughts to The Truth and don’t allow any lies to take root in your mind. Your brain is an amazing thing. It determines the health of your body. Feed it truth. Demolish negative thoughts. Arm your body for the war against depression by filling your mind with truth.
Homework (if you so choose…)
- Practice taking every thought captive this week.
- Pay careful attention to your thoughts and where they lead.
- Stop your negative thoughts and don’t let them spiral out of control.
- Memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Ask God to renew your mind and help you to keep a tight reign on your thought life.
Questions? Comments? Please share below. We’re here to support each other.