I am delighted to welcome Krisie Brown sharing her wisdom on using our imaginations well. Be sure to download Krisie’s beautiful bookmark, found at the end of the article, that she has created to help you put into practice the truths she is teaching. Print it out and keep it somewhere it will be easily seen.
Growing up in the 1970s and 80s I had plenty of opportunity to use my imagination. From playing school with old math textbooks my mom would bring home from her high school teaching position, to my friend and I fancying we were journalists of The Smurfs persuasion, publishing the Smurf Gazette full of Gargamel’s antics and Papa Smurf’s wisdom.
Over the past 15 years I have had the great joy of watching my three children play dress-up as princesses, vets, police officers, and spies. I don’t know at what age we lose the interest in using our imaginations to such intense degrees. Occasionally I see our 9-year-old pull our 15-year-old into a world all her own making, but the episodes become fewer and farther between.
As we grow into adults, all too often the most we use our imaginations for is considering the what-if’s of life. What if I fail that test, miss my plane, get into a car accident, get lost, or I or my loved one get hurt?
In God’s word we are encouraged to turn our worries into prayer, but more than that to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) I’ve always taken this to mean making sure I take every negative thought and turn it to prayer or to let it go, to trust God with the what-if’s of each day.
But what if we consider the positive side? What if we use our imaginations to think on what is lovely, pure and true? (Philippians 4:8) Recently, I’ve heard several pastors and Bible teachers talk about using our sanctified imaginations.
I’d like to rise to this challenge and take Psalm 1:3 and imagine with you…
God says those who delight in His law are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever we do prospers.
Try it sometime, or better yet find a comfortable place now with a view of a tree to consider. Close your eyes, imagine yourself as a tree and ponder your new state by answering a few questions.
A tree is planted or grounded in dirt or soil with nutrients upon which it feeds.
You – what are you grounded in? Where do you find stability, your sense of worth? What food, both physically and spiritually are you consuming? Is it healthy?
A tree needs fresh water.
You — are you connected to Jesus, the one who gives living water? (John 7:38) When do you feel most connected with Jesus? Are you trusting in Him for your refreshment, sustainment, acceptance?
A tree yields fruits, seeds or nuts.
You — are you yielding the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23) Ask the Lord to help you take inventory — rejoice in the bearing of good fruit, ask for the Spirit’s help, strength and wisdom to produce more.
This tree’s leaf does not wither, so there is no fear of drought.
You — what are your fears? List your needs before God, your grievances, doubts, fears, sorrows and pain. Let His presence speak comfort, love and hope into those troubles. These aren’t surprises to Him, just speak them out and ask Jesus to be with you.
Whatever they do prospers
May you see God’s hand of blessing, knowing He is the reward, He will carry you with His righteous right hand.
Now I know I’ve been a little creative with the headings I’ve chosen to create the acronym GROW. Still it can help in moments of quiet to imagine again you are a tree, firmly Grounded in God’s truth, Refreshed by the living water of the Spirit, prOducing love, joy, peace etc, and Wither-resistant to whatever trials come your way.
There are so many scriptures we could apply our sanctified imaginations to, from imagining putting on the armor of God each morning as we dress (Ephesians 6:10-18) to the restored glory of Eden (Revelation 22:1-5) — there’s another tree to envision. I seem to have an affinity for trees recently.
Krisie Brown has been involved in both the Women’s and Children’s Ministries at First Congregational Church of Hamilton for close to 30 years. She and her husband live in Ipswich, MA with their three children (Morgan, Calvin and Sydney). Currently, she is on the board of by design ministries and the teaching team for the Women’s Bible Study at her church. Krisie loves to be involved at church and in her children’s schools, building community.