More than three decades ago I realized the importance of dwelling on positive thoughts specifically when I wake and when I fall asleep. The lesson came after my fiancé broke our engagement.
In the first days and weeks following the breakup, I’d fall asleep focused on my pain and feelings of rejection. I’d wake dreading the day, knowing I’d spend it wrestling with disappointment and self-pity. The result? I spiraled into a bin of negative emotions and began believing the enemy’s lies about my being unloved and worthless.
I began to understand that the content of my thoughts played a major role in my ability to move on with my life. And so, I took action. I began meditating on Scripture as I fell asleep at night. In the mornings, before I rolled from bed, I prayed a simple prayer: “This is the day that You have made, Lord. Teach me to rejoice and be glad in it.”
These simple actions made a remarkable difference. The pain eased, replaced by hope and anticipation about my future in God’s hands. They also established a pattern I’ve tried to maintain ever since.
Bedtime thoughts, I find, are critical. If I crawl into bed at night while stressing over tomorrow’s to-do list or fretting about a worrisome situation, I guarantee sleep won’t come easy. Nor will I wake the next morning with a happy outlook toward the day. But ending the day with prayer and then meditating on a Bible verse or on one aspect of God’s character sets my mind in a good place for the night and the next morning.
Beginning and ending our day with thoughts focused on God follows a gentle reminder found in Psalm 92:2—“It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.”
God knows best. He understands how important our thought life is, and because He loves us, He gives us the key to managing it successfully. Let’s do what He says. Let’s embrace His counsel to remember His love and faithfulness when the day begins and ends. Doing so takes effort, but it’s crucial to overcoming fear, stress, and disappointment.
Have you practiced this discipline? If so, what difference has it made in your life?