know it’s hot outside when you hurry from your car to the house to
avoid the summer heat. It’s reminiscent of winter, when howling winds
and sub-zero temperatures make “outside” a place to traverse rather
This has been one brutal summer.
Weeks of 100-plus degree temps tested the mettle of humans and nature
alike. Our maple trees decided they’d had enough and let their leaves
change from green to red to dead in a matter of days. I don’t do
summer, which should mean that I’d be smart enough to move to some
state that will oblige my temperature preferences. Yet I stay in the
Midwest because family is here. They’re worth the sacrifice of hot
But on this particular summer
morning, I was suffering another kind of heat wave—a scorching of the
mind. I was in the midst of a particularly difficult situation where a
good resolution seemed as unlikely as snow in August. Just as I don’t
do summer, I don’t do conflict. My first instinct is not to fight, but
to flee, to escape within. There in my mind, heated by the conflict I
didn’t want to face, doubt, fear, and confusion grew like weeds in the
Just the night before I’d told
my husband I’d been having strong thoughts about giving up. Giving in.
Instead of just hiding from conflict and problems, I would avoid them
by hiding away in some corner of my life where trials and struggles
couldn’t find me. Surely such a place existed.
But as the morning light
revealed the problem was still with me, I felt the need to seek God’s
help. I’d already surrendered the problem to Him. That wasn’t the
issue. What was the issue—what I hadn’t even realized was the issue—was
my mind and my thoughts. At God’s nudging, I pulled out a book I hadn’t
opened since December. When I began to read Having a Mary
Spirit by Joanna Weaver, I knew it was not a coincidence that
the chapter I’d opened to was “Mind Control.”
It was written for me. For
during the latest crisis I'd given my
usual fallback feelings free rein; weariness, doubt, and confusion were
in control. And those feelings were fuel to Satan. In my weakened
state, the evil one magnified each one, making me want to give up and
totally withdraw from life. I’d unwittingly been a pawn in his
was time to tell him Enough! and surrender not just
the problem to God, but also surrender my thoughts, my emotions, and my
mind to Christ Jesus.
I took comfort in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Weakness? I had bushels of that! But God could take it—all of it—and by
His power make me strong again.
this act of surrender, I
realized God was there for me and would help me feel confident, strong,
capable, and worthy again. “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out
of the mud and the mire. He set my feel on solid ground and steadied me
as I walked along” (Ps. 40:2 NLT).
And as my mind cooled from its
destructive heat, outside my window the clouds opened up and the rain
poured! I watched in awe as God cleansed the earth and replenished it
with the moisture of His grace. His thunder was an affirmation that I
too was cleansed and made new. “Create in me a pure
heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (51:10 NIV,
And so today, as summer wanes
and a new season of life begins, I urge you to take a look at whatever
is bothering you, whatever is heating up your thoughts. Don’t hide,
don’t wallow in self-doubt—don’t wallow in self at
all. But give your mind to the Lord and hide in Him. “Set your minds on
things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now
hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2–3).
Unfortunately, there is not a
corner of our lives where we can hide from conflict and problems.
Trials and struggles will find us. But the good
news is God is there, waiting for us, eager to help: “God did this so
that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move
and have our being” (Acts 17:27–28a).