If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. - 2 Timothy 2:21
Lately in our home we have an influx of stink bugs. I'm not sure where they're coming from, but I have learned what to do with them.
As I repeated the process today, I was thinking about how it parallels our struggle with worry and fear.
Stink bugs sneak in. Sometimes we can't even find the break in our barriers, but suddenly, there's a stink bug.
They are noisy when they fly, much buzzier than most other insects. Their body shape is distinctive, too. I can see one up on the ceiling from across the room, and know exactly what it is; they're easy to spot by sound or sight.
Worry is like that, isn't it? It's not that we don't recognize it for what it is; it's just that we don't know quite what to do with it once it's been spotted.
Squashing a stink bug is a bad idea for the obvious reason. When threatened, they release a very foul odor, much like a skunk does. Have you ever driven by a dead skunk on a roadway? Same principle, just scaled down.
When we try to squash anxiety, what we do instead is ramp it up and spread it around. Squashing stinkin thinkin is not the way to defeat it.
Ignoring a stink bug only leads to more stink bugs. We give them time to make a little home, have little baby stink bugs, get comfy and multiply! No one wants more stink bugs!
Fear is like that. Trying to pretend we're not afraid, that fear doesn't exist, is really just giving it a chance to take root and grow.
The only way I've found to deal effectively with the stink bug is to get a tissue, quietly gather the bug into it, very gently, then release it into the wild, where it belongs.
When we see a worry, let's get out the Word, quietly gathering the worry into the Truth, very gently with prayer, then release it into the world, where it belongs. It certainly doesn't belong in the heart or mind of a Christian!
Today, practice this by sitting and listening for the bright buzzing and distinctive shape that worry has in your mind. Once you've identified one, pull out the scripture and calmly pray about it. Then release that worry. Move on to the next and the next and the next until your fears get lighter and your anxiety stills.
If you're like me, you'll have to do this each day. But every day, I'm finding less and less of an infestation. Don't let stinkin thinkin take root!
Heavenly Father, thank You for the scriptures and the hope we have only in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen...
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May God Bless You,