I remember the main form of punishment when I was a disobedient child was writing sentences. I think I was writing sentences before I could write my name. In an effort to change my behavior, my sentences always began with "I will not..."
I will not flush my socks down the toilet.
I will not feed my green peas to the dog.
I will not send my little brother down the steps in his wagon.
I will not shave the dog or my little sister.
I was convinced that my father had a big book full of sentences to fit everything I did. I started out with 10 sentences as a very young child and distinctly remember writing 1,000 on several occasions when I was older. I'm not sure how effective the sentence writing was on my behavior but I did have the best handwriting in the class.
Today is chemo day. Usually it is at 9:00 in the morning but because of the holiday yesterday it is at 2:00. I think it's better when it's early so I don't have so much time to think about not wanting to go. So I am sitting here thinking about sentences. I just found out that I will need to return to work full-time before I am finished with chemo, radiation and surgery. My company has a policy that if you are out longer than 6 months you are terminated from the organization and lose all benefits including insurance. I wonder if they realize that cancer doesn't always fit into a neat little 6 month package.
I am seeing that each treatment is getting a little harder to bounce back from and I wonder how I will have the strength to work full time through all that lies ahead. And I start to worry about tomorrow, a disobedient behavior I am continually guilty of. Perhaps I should write sentences.
I will not... I will not...... I will not.....
But, my God is a God of grace and love and forgiveness. His word is full of encouragement and hope even in the midst of our trials. Instead of writing "I will not... ", I think I will start writing "I WILL... using the promises He has given to me.
"I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
"I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"I will supply all of your needs." (Philippians 4:19)
"I will make all things possible." (Luke 18:27)
"I will cast all of my cares on Him." (1Peter 5:7)
"I will do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Phil 4:13)
I think that should be enough to help change my negative thinking into positive thinking today. And I know that my Father has a big book full of sentences to fit any trial I face today and tomorrow and 6 months from now.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness!!