When I began the 21-day fast this year, I was overcome with the hatred and negativity I was seeing on the news, on social media and even from some of the people with whom I have been meeting. Negativity can sweep though organizations, through workplaces, through neighborhoods and, yes, even through churches like a virus. I know there are so many times I have participated in negativity and been caught up in it. I am somewhat of a critical thinker. I am always looking for a better way to do things. If I am in a meeting, I am always a ready participant when we are discussing “what went wrong”, but when we are discussing “wins”, not so much. So just how was I going to fast from negativity? Do I isolate myself from everyone and sing happy songs? Not likely.
Our Bible reading for today is Psalms Chapters 3 & 4. 3:3 But you. Lord are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I realized my goal in the fast was to be more cognizant about what I was saying to people. I needed to put a lid on my negative thoughts. I had to make myself more aware of the negativity I may be thinking or saying and immediately ask God to help me, shield me and lift my head high. It was and is difficult. I know I failed miserably so many times. But each time I caught myself thinking negative thoughts and went to God, guess what? It brought me just a little closer to Him. I began thinking of ways to encourage people and lift them up. I approached 2 or 3 of the most negative, unhappy people in my neighborhood and tried to make them feel a little less sad. Psalms 4:1: Answer me when I call to You, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress…….
So far this whole process has brought me so much peace. I was skeptical, but can tell you, depending on God when you are facing something new or difficult works. I truly believe and know He wants us to depend on him, yes even though there are some of us who like to always be in control. Psalms 4:8: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.