Have you ever had a song take up residence in your brain? Even if it’s a song you really like, after it’s been circling around in your mind all day, you reach a point where you think you just can’t take it anymore. You just want the song to go away. Finally, you decide to go to the extreme and begin singing a different song – out loud. The fact that you are tone deaf and in the middle of the mall does not matter, as long as you can stop this song’s spin cycle.
Nearly all of us have experienced this not only with a song, but also with a worrying thought that becomes a ruminating thought. The term ruminating comes from the repetitive chewing that takes place in the cow’s digestive process. A cow repeatedly chews, swallows, then chews its food all over again. That works great for a cow, but it is a thinking process that can cause great distress to people. When a worrying, destructive thought enters your mind, it’s time to take action. Don’t wait for this thought to morph into an overwhelming burden. Instead, take it captive and make it obedient to Christ.
How? First, acknowledge that this worrying thought is just that – a worry, not a fact. Next, ask yourself, does this thought line up with what God says about you or what He tells you to do? Keep in mind a few facts. God loves you. He commands us not to worry or fear. He is with us always and gives us the strength we need to handle anything that comes our way. Finally, seeing that this thought is a lie and provides absolutely no value, discard the thought and replace it with God’s loving truth. Take a look back at the Take Up Your Sword devotional where we are reminded to keep God’s word alive and active in us so we can be ready for combat against such things as ruminating thoughts. It’s a lot like singing a different song out loud. Memorize some of your favorite verses and have them ready the next time you are struck by a ruminating thought. Say them out loud. This way, you are certain to stop that worry spin cycle and replace it with the peace of God’s truth.
For additional practical ways to handle rumination, visit this blog.