It’s Personal

Sometimes you get overloaded, freeze, and crash. Even another large coffee can’t reboot you. Here’s your reset. It deletes malicious programs, clears history you keep obsessing over, and upgrades your core processor.

Take a breath.

Read this verse from Jeremiah 31:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unending kindness I have drawn you to myself.”

Read it again.

Now personalize it:

“You have always loved me. You have drawn me to yourself with unending kindness.”

Say it out loud.

Again.

I know how important it is to read Scripture in context, and not twist it to fit a theology. But I also know the Bible is a love letter, an invitation from God to know him. You can read it your entire life without ever experiencing it, without really knowing him. Jesus is the Word. So let him speak to you.

Relax your shoulders. Let all the heaviness fall off them. Take another deep breath. Now speak that verse again in your own words, in relation to your own life. Something like, “Jesus, I’ve been overwhelmed lately. Sometimes I feel like I’m either going to crash, or explode, or both. It’s hard to carry all this. So I give it to you. I give all the people I love to you. I give all the junk in my head to you. Help me see how you’ve been loving me. I get so focused on what’s gone wrong, or what might go wrong, I miss when you’re showing me your kindness, mercy, and goodness. Help me see them now. Help me see everyone and everything as you do.”

Go a little further. Read this section of Philippians chapter four as if Paul wrote it directly to you. Use your name. Out loud. I know it may feel awkward. Do it anyway. This is my interpretation of verses four through seven. If you prefer, read your favorite version instead:

“____________, delight yourself in God. Seriously, let yourself delight in him! Accept his joy. Truly receive it, and give it away freely and continuously. Live purposefully in patience, kindness, and unselfishness toward everyone. The Lord truly is with you, so don’t let anxiety have control over you. Displace it by thriving in overflowing thankfulness, prayer, and intimacy with him. That peace of Jesus Christ, which is so far beyond intellectual description, will be a guard for your heart and mind, helping you understand and work out your feelings and thoughts.”

Now, make it a personal affirmation:

“I will delight myself in you, Lord, no matter the circumstances. I choose to receive your joy in my heart and mind, and give it away freely. I will live purposefully, aware of your presence. I will relate to you, myself, and the world with patience that comes from rest, kindness that comes from grace, and unselfishness that comes from love.

You really are with me, so I don’t have to allow fear, pain, or bitterness to have control over my thoughts anymore. I will fill my mind to overflowing with thankfulness, remembering every blessing in my life, and how good you’ve been to me. I’ll bring all my prayers and requests to you, not as a desperate beggar, but as your child. Your peace enables me to see as you see, feel as you feel, and think as you think. That’s the kind of peace you have for me, Jesus—the peace of a Father nurturing the heart and mind of his child.”

Take a few more moments to let him do exactly that. Let him restore your heart, reset your mind, and love you to life.

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