When I was a little girl, my dad used to challenge us kids to learn different scriptures. Psalm 23 has to be one of the very first scriptures he had us learn- Verse by verse, until we could recite the entire chapter.
This scripture I’ve repeated over and over throughout my life for different reasons. When I’m feeling challenged, or feeling down. If I missed devotion time, I had Psalm 23 to quote and reflect on. I’ve even used it as a prayer.
A few weeks ago at a conference, called Make Up Your Mind, my friend Tia Crockett spoke about thoughts. She said something that has stuck with me ever since… “You can’t fight a thought with a thought, you fight a though with a/the Words.”
Sounds simple but it was so profound to me. You tell yourself to stop thinking about something and all you can think of is that one thing. But if you think on a scripture, better yet, say aloud a scripture that correlates with what you’re going through, or thinking about – it will help you combat those feelings and thoughts. I’ve always heard that we should pray the scriptures. They’re not just sitting in the Bible to look pretty or tell interesting stories. The scriptures have lasted for Centuries for a reason. They have power. They work. They tell truth. They’re a guide.
So last week, in the middle of the worst panic attack I’ve had in years. I have a professional background in Mental Health Counseling, so I should know a lot of techniques, but I went blank. Yet in those moments I was able to remember these three things.
- Get hold of something textured, to refocus on to ground me – I grabbed a textured toy ball
- What Tia said – Fight the thought with the Word
- Psalm 23 – I started in the middle, but the more I quoted the more it remixed.
Psalm 23 Remix
King James Version (KJV) / Sincerely, Mrs. Mommy Version (SMMV)
1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
There is nothing I need in replace of Him, to make me feel better – bad food, alcohol, sex, drugs, self-harm, etc.
2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
Stop. Relax. Get Calm. If you can, lie down or lean back and breathe deeply. Go outside and get fresh air.
3. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
I am refreshed. I am renewed. I am loved. I am cared for. He’ll guide me with where I need to go, with what I need, and how I can handle things. In His name there is power to conquer any and everything.
4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
It feels like death, but it’s not. I won’t have fear from pressure, anxiety, depression, feelings of being overwhelmed. He is strong, He has stability, He will guide me.
5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
You will sustain and nourish me to overcome and defeat the pressure, anxiety, stress, grief. You have given me everything I need. I have and am more than enough.
6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
For as long as I’m living, you will keep me stable, safe, and loved, because You are my Creator. There is nothing You wouldn’t do for me, if it is the best for me.
As the panic attack passed through, and I was back to Earth – I quickly scribbled down the remix, and taped it on my closet door as a reminder.
Perhaps you will keep this in mind during a difficult time in your life, dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, feelings of overwhelm, doubt, or even grief.
What’s your favorite go-to scripture? What helps you to overcome feelings of sadness, doubt, or anxiety? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Also, check out my post on Pushing Past Anxiety and Stress.