Eating Your Words
There's a story of a little girl whose mother caught her kneeling by her bedside, hands clasped, eyes closed, and reciting the A, B, C's. When the girl said, "Amen", her mother popped into the room.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"I'm just praying," the girl replied.
"But Honey, why are you saying the ABC's instead of talking to God?"
"Well," she answered, "I was praying all the letters of the alphabet and letting God put the words together the way He wanted to."
I love words. Along with the ubiquitous letter "R", my house is brimming with slogans both positive and silly. Because like the little girl in the story, I need constant help to rearrange the letters and words floating around in my head. Too often, I am consumed by false messages that have no business taking up my brain's precious real estate.
Do any of these false messages sound familiar?
You're a fake.
Your dreams and goals are unachievable.
Your current situation is inescapable.
God doesn't care about your pain.
You'll never be as good as her.
Nothing is going to change, so why try?
You're broken, useless.
Oh friend, even as I typed those words, I felt the hopelessness drifting in like a black cloud. Especially when we experience prolonged suffering like infertility, our emotions can hijack our thoughts and rob us of peace.
Words are powerful. And we must make a conscious effort to trade the lies we believe for the truth that does not waver.
In Jeremiah 15:16, the weeping prophet, proclaims the transforming power of words: "Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts."
What if I said to you, "Stop thinking about the pink elephant in the corner"? Is your first thought of a blushing pachyderm, huddled into a cramped space? Of course! We cannot NOT think about Dumbo until we have a new image with which to replace him. This is exactly how words work. Like Jeremiah, we must devour God's words to wipe out our nagging and negative thoughts and reestablish joy and delight in our hearts.
This is what happens when we swap unsavory falsehoods with God's sweet truth:
See how God, the immaculate re-arranger, tidies up our head space and restores hope? Purging our words and consuming God's truth can take us from this...
I hope you'll take some time today to pay attention to the words filling your head. Then decide if those messages deserve to stay, or if its time for a little "God sugar". His promises are a natural sweetener that smack with joy and delight, reminding us of King David's words in Psalm 119:103: "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Aunt Gladys, please pass the words...Yum!