Mar 22, 2007

Taking every thought captive


Ian's progress (or lack of it) has provided an opportunity to practice taking my thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5). For example, I visited Ian today while the speech therapist was working with him, and it struck me for some reason how he wasn't swallowing completely. That thought hit me at first like a surprise punch in the stomach. But, I had to capture that thought and remind myself of the command of Scripture to rejoice (Phil 4:4-7) and make my thought obey Christ. I've been studying that passage lately. I'm to rejoice because of the kindness God has shown me. I'm to rejoice because God is in control. I'm to rejoice because of the truth that God's favor toward Ian and toward all of us has not changed. So, I reminded myself of the progress Ian has made, and Larissa reminded me of that progress. I reminded myself that God has shown him mercy. I reminded myself that God's favor hasn't left Ian. I reminded myself that my confidence is in God not in what I see of Ian's progress, and I made my thoughts turn again to Christ.
These momentary discouraging thoughts sometimes come with lightening speed and with some serious power behind them. Sometimes they're glancing blows. It's always a lot of work, though, like climbing up a long flight of uneven steps. Sometimes the steps are harder to get up, and sometimes they're easier. But, it's always work. Thankfully, there is grace to strengthen, and we remain in peace.
The building of the addition to our house continues thanks to so many people who give of their time. We learned today that an issue of how some of Ian's hospital bills were to be paid was resolved. And, the best news of the day was that on a couple of occasions Ian reached to take Larissa's hand in response to some things she said to him, things that would normally have elicited a response like that. Cool.
Thanks for praying.
Steve

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

How well you describe those moments, Steve. And how well you describe the process. I love how you said that the discouraging moments can come with lightening speed and power behind them. That's exactly the way it is. Thank you so much for your encouragement in this post. You describe, specifically, how you take your thoughts captive. You remind us of the Scriptures that keep our minds from running away with us like freight trains. And the way you describe it all as an "uneven staircase" is perfect. You're telling us what you're going through and you're teaching us how to go through our own at the same time. This is fruit that will endure. This is the work that will hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Now enter into the rest of My Father." when your last day comes. I can hear Him whisper those very words to you right now, Steve. Well done, my son; my good and faithful servant. Well done."

The Brice Pardoe's said...

We continue to remember you in our prayers.

The Brice Pardoe's

The Drago's said...

Thank you for how openly and honestly you share. What an example it is to us hearing of how you are striving to take your thoughts captive and turn them to the Lord and His truth. How much we need to be doing that moment by moment. We are continuing to uplift you all in prayer.

The Drago's

the halls said...

Steve,
Thanks for reminding us (again!)of the importance of trusting what God has said,and not trusting in our feelings. I plan on sharing your words of encouragement with my Bible study dealing with the topic of emotions. . . .so thank you, thank you, thank you!
terry

Anonymous said...

SENDING A SPECIAL PRAYER
WARM GREETINGS
PM

Mark A said...

Steve,

You continue to inspire me with your incredible faith. What a work of God's grace in you and Mary and your family and Larissa. Only the living God could give you the grace to rejoice in such a trial.

Thanks

Mark A. said...

Steve,

Thanks for sharing your heart and your struggles. What a mighty work of grace God has done in you. For it takes the grace of God to be able to rejoice in such a trial as yours.

I want you to know how much I respect and admire you. I hope that should I ever go through anything that even comes close to a trial like yours that I can give God glory like you are doing.

Nicole said...

Still praying!! As I watch you go through this trial, I am amazed to see the way that the Lord is working in your lives and the huge evidences of His grace in your responses to enormous trial. Thanks for persevering!
~ Nicole

Anonymous said...

Steve, thank you for sharing so honestly yet also highlighting the ways God is helping you, very specifically, in very specific moments, to root yourself to His word. Every believer can be encouraged by this! And in the end, we will all see that it was never in our own doing that we found the strength or wisdom or reminders to keep moving, but that God's pointed care in our lives gave us the grace to go on. As I read this entry, I was reminded of running cross country in high school. The key to enduring the physical hardship was to have a mental focus on something other than the pain. Just keeping your knees moving up, one after the other, pushing yourself uphill, required deliberate effort on every lift. Scripture compares our spiritual lives to a runner's race. We need the truth of God's word to be our focus so that we can endure the pain and get to the end of the race. We need to take our thoughts captive to get up those hills or uneven stairs. Just as positive thoughts help a runner keep moving, thoughts of truth help the believer press on. In fact, he cannot press on without them! So keep pressing on, Murphy family, and continue to focus on the word of God and the evidences of His grace in this hardship. The only way forward is to keep taking one day, one "knee lift," at a time, and God is sustaining and strengthening you in each moment, just as much as you need to make it through that one.
Sara B.