Do you play bedtime whack-a-mole at your house? You know the game, it’s the one where you try to get all your children to bed on time and then have them stay in bed. The game starts the moment you think you have successfully tucked them all in, teeth properly brushed, good night kisses given. Up pops the first child, apparently spontaneously bleeding from a knee, needing a band-aid. No sooner is that one back in bed, then here comes another who just remembered an important phone message, which of course by now it’s too late in the evening to return. You finish your instructions on the art of message-taking, and here comes the child who is thirsty.
Finally, all the younger children are settled. In walks the teenager, who despite being hardly able to keep their eyes open all afternoon, is now wide awake and ready to talk, of course about very important, possibly life changing matters. Usually, by some time late evening they do all go to sleep. For some people though, this is when another whack-a-mole game starts.
Suddenly, negative thoughts start popping up from nowhere. These thoughts can be anything: fears, doubts, or just things we wished we had done differently that day. These thoughts are robbers. They rob us of joy and peace. They attempt to steal away grace. They have stolen many a night’s sleep.
When these bad thoughts start creeping in it is time to get out the big hammer of God’s word.
Fear? Whack! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear.” II Timothy 1:7
Doubt? Whack! “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7
Regret? Whack! “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18
As with any skill, this takes practice. I, for one, need to remember to speak truth to these thoughts right away, not just sit there allowing the thoughts to swirl in my head. However, we can all be whack-a-thought experts. We just need to stay alert, keep ourselves filled with God’s word through reading the Bible, and practice batting those thoughts away the moment they pop up.
Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”