Bars or Stars?

Two women looked through prison bars – One saw mud, the other saw stars.

Our ladies’ group began a study written by Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart where she included the lines above.  For several weeks, I have been pondering this. What do I see? Both statements are true of the view from the where the women stood, yet each woman chose a different place to focus.

In my life circumstances, what am I gazing upon? Do I dwell upon the bars limiting me from what I think I should be experiencing, or do I see the stars of God’s good plans for my future?

That was my challenge – to reframe those negative thoughts into ones that better reflect God’s truth.  In recent years, scientists have gained much information on how our brains function. The longer we think a certain way, the stronger the neural pathway becomes, so when I focus on negative ideas, those become entrenched in my thinking. However, God our marvelous creator, has given our brains an amazing capacity to change and develop new neural pathways. (Long before scientists could explain how the brain works, God told us our minds are transformed and renewed by being in His presence and meditating on His words). I want to stop falling into those old ruts and let God begin to renew my mind.

Here are a few of the places where my thoughts keep getting stuck and baby steps on a new pathway…

Complaining or refusing to accept the circumstances God has given me/Every good thing and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights. James 1:17

Carrying my burdens and worries/ Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31

Doubting God’s love and sovereign control in my life/ And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purposes Romans 8:28

Counting my problems instead of blessing/ Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…

Comparing my life, ministry or gifts to someone else/ In His presence, there is fullness of joy, at his right hand there are pleasures evermore. Psalm 16:11

These new thoughts still don’t come automatically but turning my eyes to the stars has come more easily after many, many repeats. May God ingrain his truths into each of our minds so in our trials, we default to trust instead of turmoil. 

Photo by Mohan Reddy Atalu on

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