"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Being an artist I feel the most-fulfilled when I am creating and painting. I love where I live... the seascapes, beaches, and forests on the West Coast of Canada are picturesque and breath taking. They’ve inspired me to create many vibrant original acrylic paintings. But there is a dark side... I have struggled with negativity and futile thoughts when it comes to the responsibilities of life and any menial task. I often feel very impatient and I can’t wait “to get to create”...
I often get quite discouraged with the amounts of housework, chores, bookkeeping, banking, family responsibilities and all. I have struggled with complaining to myself about this my entire adult life. Even then, once I find the time to create... other negative thoughts begin to plague me.
Does anyone care about what I’m creating?..
Does it matter?
Do I have an interested audience?
Will my work be seen? ....enjoyed?....valued?
Ultimately... am I seen?…enjoyed?... valued?
When those thoughts plague me, I mostly just stuff them down, refuse them, or pretend as if they aren’t there. My strategy has been: to not let doubt or fear stop me from doing what I love. I’m constantly pushing through this discouragement, but it takes a lot of energy and it leaves me with a sense of being very tired. Lately I have been practicing a new way: I literally connect with Jesus about the thoughts, and I’ve realized that I don’t have to battle them alone. I’ve been acknowledging and addressing Jesus inside of every negative thought process in my day, as often as possible. As soon as the thought strikes, I have been inviting Him into these silent conversations. When the thought surfaces... I ask Jesus what he thinks of it. I literally say in my mind: Jesus what do you make of that? What is your opinion on that? Or some version of that question. Sometimes, just asking Jesus the question, brings instant relief and the stress of the futile thought dissipates. Other times Jesus answers by giving me new wisdom I hadn’t thought of before in the situation. (Sometime right away and sometimes a few hours later.)
As I’ve been practising this continual conversation, Jesus keeps reminding me of all the scripture verses I have learned on this topic. Which until now, I haven’t been taking literally.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the
knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--
Colossians 1:27 (NLTSE)
And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
Galatians 5:16 (NLTSE)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.
Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV)
...God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
Trust in the lord with all your heart Lean not on your own understanding .....in all your
ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.
John 15:5 (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear
much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Another helpful question I can ask Jesus: Why am I not feeling peace right now? When I make a mistake, I can ask Jesus what he thought of it. When I have a decision to make ... I can ask Jesus to weigh in. Asking Him questions throughout the day makes me feel closer to Him. I don’t agonize about not getting an answer immediately. I Just keep bringing these things to him as I go about my day. It instantly comforts me. This constant connection has relieved the stress I’ve been carry in my neck and shoulders for over 10 years. I have been feeling less pressed and can get through my menial tasks with a peaceful heart. It shouldn’t surprise me as Jesus also says:
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLTSE)
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden
I give you is light."
Isaiah 9:6 (NLTSE) says:
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I have known in theory that Jesus is willing and available to help us... but this simple exercise of asking Him these many questions throughout my day has proven to me that He really is. In reading this, may you also realize that he wants to help you with the things you are struggling with. Especially if those things are constantly nagging you. Our Lord is so full of love, peace and generosity. We would be crazy not to accept all the help He has for us!
Guest Blogger - Lori Morris
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.