The night seemed never-ending. Strange, vivid dreams disturbed my sleep. I woke frequently to the unsettling dream video playing in my mind. When I fell asleep again I’d find myself in another aspect of this bizarre story.
After many hours of this sequence, I realized that I needed to focus on something else as I was nodding off again. That’s when a snippet of a scripture verse came to mind; “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think about these things.”
It took all my concentration to replace the unsettling images with thoughts of God’s blessings. What could be more pure and lovely than that? My final hour of sleep was peaceful.
Soon the alarm went and I was surprised to find my neck and shoulders were stiff and sore. My back ached and it took great effort to place one foot in front of the other. “What happened?” I thought; “I felt fine when I went to bed.”
It was then I realized the negative thoughts in the night had seized my body as well as my mind. If they had the power to make this much impact in eight hours of rest, I wondered what the overall effect of negative thoughts had on my health. This was one experiment I wasn’t willing to take!
Just as I discovered in the night, my focus needs to remain on God. He has provided many blessings in my life. By consciously turning my attention to God and praying about every situation, my mind will stay positive and the tension will be gone.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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 4:6-8 NIV)