January 12, 2009 
Swollen Imaginations 
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth 
“(We are) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

Friend To Friend 
Ada had an uneventful dental visit at my husband’s office – just a routine filling.  He was surprised when she called him at home later that evening, complaining of a swollen cheek and excruciating pain. 

“Dr. Jaynes,” she groaned.  “I can barely hold my head up.  My face is swollen, I can’t open my mouth, and the pain is severe.”

“Ada, I’m so sorry you’re having trouble,” Steve replied.  “I can’t imagine what the problem could be.  I’ll call you in some pain medicine and you come in first thing in the morning.”

The following day, I was working as Steve’s assistant, and was amazed at Ada’s appearance when she arrived at the office.  Her eyes were half closed, she could barely walk, and her right cheek did appear quite swollen.  Ada sat down in the chair as if every movement took great effort.  She could barely open her mouth to let Steve see what the problem might be.  Finally, she did manage to open slightly.  Steve gently lifted her lip and a huge grim spread across his face.  He reached in with an instrument and removed a cotton roll from the area between her cheek and tooth... that I had forgotten to remove the previous day.

Ada’s eyes popped open as she miraculously bolted upright in the chair.  “What did you do?” she exclaimed, all signs of weakness gone.  Ada was miraculously healed!

Steve grinned and held up the small piece of cotton.  “This is what was causing you so much ‘pain.’”

Ada was terribly embarrassed.

Steve and I replayed the scenes from the previous day.  Before placing the filling, he put a small cotton roll between Ada’s cheek and tooth to keep the area dry.  I was assisting him that day and forgot to remove the cotton roll when he had finished.  When the anesthesia wore off, Ada felt her cheek and thought it was swollen.  As the night wore on, her imagination ran rampant until she had worked herself into such a state, she could barely move with imaginary pain. She had made herself sick.  Never once did she open her mouth and look inside.  If she had, she would have seen a little white piece of cotton.

That is the power of our imagination and faulty thinking.  We can talk ourselves into believing a lie to the point that it affects our actions and our emotions and even our health. However, with close examination, we can recognize the lie and stand on the truth.

Finally, Paul writes to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.”  Just like the policeman who pursues and captures a criminal on the loose, we can capture those runaway thoughts and lock them away for good.  Oh, Satan will try to post bail and set them free again.  But we have the power and the authority to lock them up and throw away the key.

Let’s Pray 
Dear LORD, Help me recognize when I’ve let my thoughts run away like a wild stallion.  Help me rein in worry and regret with the truth of Your Word.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit who gives me the power to take every thought captive.  Help me to cooperate with him.

In Jesus’ Name, 
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
I hope today’s devotion made you laugh.  To tell you the truth, sometimes we just need to laugh at ourselves.  Yes, taking every thought captive is serious business, but laughing at the way we can work ourselves up over nothing is sometimes … well, just plain funny.

Has there ever been a time when you’ve just had to laugh at yourself over unnecessary worry or fretting?  If so, I’d love to hear about it! 

More From The Girlfriends 
Today’s comical look at how believing something that is not true can affect every aspect of our lives … even our health … is taken from Sharon’s new book, I’m Not Good Enough and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.  To learn more about how to recognize the lies, rejects the lies, and replace the lies with truth, check out the book at www.sharonjaynes.com.

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