Doug Creamer: Growing thoughts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2024

By Doug Creamer

It has been a hectic and challenging start to the gardening season. The challenge has been trying to find some dry days to plant the garden. It seems when I have time, it rains. When I am busy with other things, we will have warm and sunny days. I got home today just hoping to get a few more things planted in the garden. There was some rain on the way and I wanted to beat it.

Things were going along well when one of those pre-thunderstorm gusts blew in. I hoped and prayed for a little favor. I moved quickly. A few drops fell, but it subsided and I kept working. As I finished all I wanted to get done, I looked up and saw the rain coming. I quickly gathered my things, and a few steps before I made it to the garage, the rain started. I laughed even though I was a little wet and then looked up and said, “Thank you, Lord.”

While I was working quickly to get everything done, I noticed how peaceful it was out in the garden. My mind relished the peacefulness. I had a busy week last week…too busy! Weeks like that are not good for my mind and my thoughts. I catch myself thinking about things that don’t deserve the time of day. I also find myself unable or maybe unwilling to resist thoughts that I should avoid. So the peacefulness I find from being outside brings great comfort.

Sometimes when I get to the end of one of those weeks, I find my thoughts are jumbled. We have to remember that there are three sources for our thoughts. First, we create many of our own thoughts. We are working things out. We allow anxious thoughts or worry to roam freely and unchecked. The second place our thoughts come from is the enemy. He will give us lies about ourselves or sinful thoughts. Here is where we have to choose to entertain those thoughts of to take them captive.

The final source of our thoughts is from God. These are obviously good thoughts and ones we should meditate upon. The trouble is that the noise of the world, the worries and cares of this life, our own thoughts and the thoughts of the enemy are all in competition with the thoughts God is offering us. We are called to choose. The Bible teaches us in second Timothy that God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control. We have to take responsibility for our thoughts and to squelch the ones that don’t belong.

It’s not an easy thing to do. The reality is that it’s challenging to take responsibility for our thoughts. When we are busy at our jobs or engaged in some activities that require our focus our thoughts work for us. It’s during those down times that our minds are free to ponder. Sometimes we are tired or maybe overwhelmed by life and it’s hard to muster the effort to control our thoughts.

Last week when I arrived in church, I felt like I had lost the battle in my mind. The week had been busy, but it had been good except for the battlefield of my mind. I felt God’s gentle reminder over the weekend that He gave me a spirit of self-control through reading second Timothy. I felt like I let God down.

We sang a song during worship that encouraged us to lean back into God’s loving arms. I imagined Jesus sitting under a tree on a warm, sunny day. Then I imagined that I was leaning back into His loving arms. I let Him hold me. I told Him that I was sorry I had failed. I let His love and mercy wash over me. It was beautiful. His peace enveloped me. My body, mind and spirit were captured by this incredible peace that I cannot explain and did not feel like I deserved.

I want to encourage you to close your eyes, take a deep breath and lean back into the loving arms of Jesus. Release your burdens. Give Him your cares. Surrender all the negative thoughts. Give Him your worries and anxieties. Now receive from Him the gifts of mercy, forgiveness and His perfect peace. Receiving them means you have to open them and let them wash over you like a wave at the beach. He loves you! He sees you as beautiful! You are His brother or sister. You are family. He wants you to walk in His love, joy and peace. Now, aren’t those much better thoughts? Let those thoughts grow!

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or

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