The feelings were unfamiliar. Years ago, I was in a car accident that resulted in soft tissue damage to my upper back; but it was nothing major. Pain pills and muscle relaxers didn’t work, and I was unable to sleep. The lack of sleep added to my growing apprehension and worry clouded my thoughts. I began anticipating the worst.
An injection that was supposed to help with my back pain only added to it when the needle hit my sciatic nerve. Things seemed to be getting worse instead of better.
A trying time
My irrational fears were paralleled by all kinds of physical symptoms: chills, a racing heart, a tingling feeling in my arms, shortness of breath, and headaches. I was convinced I had ruptured a disc and the doctors had just missed it.
As my thinking spiraled out of control, so did my trust in God. Why had He let me get in a wreck? Was I being punished for something I had done? Why did He seem so far away?
It wasn’t until I went in for a CT scan and the doctor gave me a pill to “calm my nerves,” that I actually felt better. The physical and mental issues I had been dealing with were not caused by a physical injury. I was experiencing anxiety.
In His grace, God showed me love. God’s Word gently reminded me that bad things happen because of sin. In the Old Testament, Job went through horrific circumstances – losing his sons and daughters, his possessions and even his health. His response?
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
Compared to Job’s situation, mine was laughable. But human nature has a tendency to focus on self to the exclusion of all else. Over the course of several months, the Lord exposed some lies I had believed and revealed the truth from His Word.
Lies v. Truth
*Lie: My circumstances are an indicator of whether or not God is pleased with me. When something bad happens, it’s because He’s angry with me.
*Truth: We live in a fallen world. Bad things happen, but God still loves me. (Psalm 23)
*Lie: If I feel something, it is accurate and must be true.
*Truth: My feelings can’t always be trusted and I need to reject them if they don’t match the truth. (Jeremiah 17:9)
*Lie: God should fix my problems.
*Truth: God often uses the trials of my life to refine me and draw me closer to Him. (James 1:2-4)
The biggest battle I faced wasn’t physical, it was spiritual. My mind was the battlefield. I had a better understanding of the apostle Paul’s instructions to the believers in Corinth:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
The car accident and the nine months that followed were defining moments for me. It was tempting to let my old thought patterns remain instead of doing the hard work that required me to change my thinking. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the help of my husband, friends, and godly counselors, I experienced the encouragement I needed to overcome the lies with the truth.
It’s critically important to challenge the thoughts that pass through our minds. Do they line up with the truth? Our hearts can deceive us, but God’s Word will point us in the right direction every time. (click to tweet)
Can you identify any lies you’ve believed? What step will you take to replace the lies with God’s truth?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the truth of Your Word. It contains the answers to all the circumstances and problems we face. Help us remember You are all-knowing, all-powerful, and almighty. You are good and You do good. Thank You for loving us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.