deep, wide, long love
Have you watched the shows called Hoarders or My-600-pound-life or Heavy or Intervention? I realize that reality TV sometimes is not fully accurate, but in these cases, there has to be a bottom line truth going on. How does someone get to have a house that is that full of junk and clutter? How does someone get to be 600 pounds? How does someone get so far down the road of addiction that people have to hold an intervention? None of this is a judgement from me. I am completely fascinated by our minds. I think people are intrigued by these shows partly because it makes us feel not quite as badly about our own “weirdness” and partly because we are fascinated at what causes that to happen. Maybe we are also a little afraid that we could let that happen to ourselves?
I was thinking about all of that because I’ve been studying so much about the brain. I also went to an all-day conference on Saturday at our church and listened to speakers talk about how to have Joy and how to get there starting with our minds. I listened to a neurosurgeon, Dr David Levy, speak on this topic and I’m now reading his book about how prayer changes people and how he uses it with his patients. I’m fascinated by this because it is so much a part of how I think.
I was talking to a friend about how we wire in toxic thoughts and how we can wire them out and then wire in healthy ones. I think the common denominator in these shows and in our toxic ways of thinking is this: it doesn’t happen overnight. It is little subtle choices repeating themselves day after day and then suddenly we find out we are in a toxic thinking pit or a health pit or a relationship pit.
The neurosurgeon does a simple practice of telling patients “it is my habit to pray with my patients. Is that something that is ok with you?” Most patients agree to it and there has been an astounding change in his practice. He then started to notice when health problems might be the result of the stress of unforgiveness and would ask patients in a non-threatening way if they harbored any unforgiveness or bitterness toward anyone. In many examples, people overcame chronic neck pain or headaches or other ailments as he recognized how bitterness was affecting their health and he guided them through forgiveness.
The verse that I am memorizing right now is part of my way of wiring in healthy thinking and wiring out the negative thinking that happens out of habit. It must be an intentional repetitive habit because we all know that we can easily make negative thinking a habit. It actually changes the way our brains are wired and the way we think. Do not take this lightly, because it says in the Bible “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
God is not letting up and He is not letting go. He wants to show us that we “may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:18-20
If you have a desire to wire in positive and wire out the toxic, I am definitely working toward a group that learns this practice. Even though I’m in a holding pattern with my health, I am working toward that goal. I’d love to pray with you and talk about it, so feel free to message me.
I pray that you would grasp that deep, wide, long love that God has for us. I pray that you would know in your heart that He has the power to change and transform us and that even those things that have snuck up on us that feel overwhelming, heavy and need an intervention….that even those things are within His power to change by the miracle of His grace and love.