Everyone was visiting for Christmas and all things had been going as planned.

“Do you have a bowl?” 

My adult daughter caught me off guard with her question.  She went on to explain, “Logan threw up. I’m afraid he may not make it to the bathroom if he needs to again.” It was Christmas evening after everyone had gone to bed. My heart ached for our sick grandson as I handed her a bowl.  

The next morning at five a.m. I heard crying from a different part of the house and hurried upstairs to see what was wrong. Our son was packing suitcases. He explained that their five year old had a high fever and a terrible headache. They didn’t want to pass his illness to anyone and felt it was best to go to their house, an hour away.

I went downstairs and made coffee for the road. As we said our goodbyes, our daughter-in-law asked, “Do you have a bowl?” The exact words my daughter had said.

Clearly, plans weren’t going the way anyone had hoped.

First Reactions 

How do you handle your thoughts when things aren’t going according to plans; when illness, accidents, or worse happens? First reactions can often be, “Why is this happening? Why do bad things always happen to my family?  Why do things always go wrong?”

First reactions can sometimes be exaggerated or lead to blaming ourselves or someone else. “I knew I shouldn’t have let Johnny play with Marcus. Wendy said he wasn’t feeling up to par. I’m such a bad mother.” Or, “Craig, I told you to keep Austin inside. You never listen to me. If you had, he wouldn’t have gotten sick.” 

Better Reactions

Although we may first react to difficulties with a stream of negative thoughts, we can choose to reign in our thoughts and align them with our hope in Christ. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what God’s word tells us to do.

[verse reference=”2 Corinthians 10:5b”]We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.[/verse]

When disappointment, doubt, waves of anger or sorrow flood our mind, it’s important that we listen to the voice in our head. Is it the Lord or the enemy speaking? The following helps us make that assessment. (I regret I wasn’t able to locate the original source to give the proper credit.) 

GOD’S VOICE                        SATAN’S VOICE

Calms                                            Obsesses

Comforts                                      Worries

Convicts                                        Condemns

Encourages                                  Discourages

Enlightens                                    Confuses

Leads                                             Pushes

Reassures                                     Frightens

Stills                                              Rushes

The next time difficulties come our way, we do well to pay attention to the voices in our head and choose Christ’s voice.

A Prayer for Help to Reign in Your Thoughts

Heavenly Father, please help me. It seems like nothing is going my way. I’m sad for my kids. Please help me be a good mother. Help me make wise decisions.  Help me trust them to Your care. Please watch over my children. Heal them. Keep them safe. Help them make wise decisions. Help me model how to trust You even when reaching for a bowl. In Jesus’s name, amen.