Build a Palace

…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Philippians 4:8


     Each morning I read a section of a little book by Frank Laubach called Letters by a Modern Mystic. Frank was a missionary to the Philippines back in the early 1900’s. The book is a diary in which he wrote about his experiment to think thoughts about God every minute of the day. From what he wrote I don’t think he ever fully achieved his desired goal, but you could see the joy increasing in his writing over time as he attempts his feat.

     In one section of his diary he writes about building sacred palaces for yourself. He says, “The most important discovery of my whole life is that one can take a little rough cabin and transform it into a palace just by flooding it with thoughts about God.”

     Then he said something that hit home, my home. He said, “one man after the other builds his own heaven or his hell. It doesn’t matter where one is, one can at once begin to build heaven, by thoughts which one thinks while in that place.”

     I have been struggling lately with my own thought life. I know many of us have with all of the changes that have occurred in our lives lately. A while back I woke up feeling miserable. I hate waking up miserable. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often but it did that morning.

     According to Frank, we can choose whether we will build heaven or hell in the place we find ourselves. I chose heaven that day. Before I got out of bed, I had a little chat with God. I told him just how miserable I felt and how much I needed Him to help me out of this miserable state. I had no doubt that He was my only way out.

     That morning I decided that the whole day I was going to spend with God. I was going to take Him with me throughout the day; into the kitchen, my office, my bedroom, and on my walk. I spent the day talking to Him (yes, out loud) as though He was sitting beside me, walking beside me, helping me fix lunch, whatever I was doing. Just like Frank, I noticed my joy increasing as the day progressed.

     I can attest to the truth of Frank’s statement. It didn’t take long for me to climb up from the moat of misery to the drawbridge of peace, eventually visiting some chamber rooms of joy a couple of times that day. I put Frank’s words to the test, I took a very rough cabin and transformed it into a palace that day, by flooding it with thoughts about God.

     If the way out of the pit and into the palace is through our thoughts, Jesus needs to be leading the way. Like Psalm 23 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” –2 Corinthians 10:5

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