Do you meditate? “Yes”
What did the Psalmist talk to himself about (Psalm 119)?
- Verse 27: I will talk to myself about “God’s wonders.”
- Verse 48: I will talk to myself about “God’s decrees.”
- Verse 78: I will talk to myself about “God’s precepts.”
- Verse 148: I will talk to myself about “God’s promises.”
Write on the shelf of your thought closet what you most meditate on: “My Responsibilities.”
Circle the labeled bins that best characterize your most frequent meditations.
- “My needs
- “My plans
- “My fears
- “My faith
- “My family
- “My wishes
- “My failures”
How did God describe His thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)?
“Higher than our thoughts – as much as heaven is higher than earth.”
Jot down some things you can begin to focus on:
- God’s Wonders
- “nature all around
- “the vast starry galaxies
- “the intricacies of tiny things; bugs, snowflakes, cells, atoms, etc.
- “His bountiful care”
- God’s Word
- “God’s traits; love, mercy, justice, forbearance, holiness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience…
- “Jesus’ sacrifice for my atonement
- “Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and imminent return”
Describe one thing you stored away in your thought closet that reminds you of God’s wonders or His Word.
“Even if I were the only one who would be saved, Jesus would still have gone to the cross – just for me! He loves me that much!”
As you pondered God’s goodness, were you able to meditate on anything else at the same time (like your plans, your worries, your insecurities)?
“No, except for a passing thought about Aslan from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
Read Psalm 119:9. What is one of the results of meditating on God’s Word?
“having great insight, surpassing that of one’s teachers”
Dearest Rachel –
It’s weird for me to see you acknowledging the fact that you meditated on a regular basis. Granted, the term itself, while used by the author of Psalm 119, has certain connotations to it – such as in the phrase ‘transcendental meditation’ – that are decidedly unbiblical; and thus, not something I would expect you to engage in. But if you’re talking about having a ‘quiet time,’ where you would simply ‘be still, and know that I am God,’ well, that’s more than understandable.
I even get the idea where you would simply look around the house and get caught up in contemplating your responsibilities – how much needed to be done, and how overwhelming that panorama could be. I wish I could unpack with you each of those ‘bins’ that the study had you select as things you thought about in those quiet times; if nothing else, the details of what came to your mind in those days, I would like to have known about, and maybe helped you to face. Then again, they may have been things that you wouldn’t have wanted my help with, or that whatever ‘help’ I might have offered would not have been welcome in any event.
To be sure, I’m not the meditative type; it wasn’t that long ago I described how I wasn’t much for talking myself into self-improvement, particularly when that process involved making promises to myself I couldn’t necessarily keep. If nothing else, I’m not always keen about where my mind goes when it’s forced to be quiet and still for too long, especially since your passing – the quiet simply emphasizes your absence, allowing a certain level of ‘woe is me’ line of thought to creep in, which I know isn’t good for me, or my relationship with God. It’s why I try to occupy myself with various tasks, reading about the current news, or trying to expand my social life – and telling you about these efforts, rather than letting myself stop and think for too long.
Still, there’s more to meditation than simply being still, and letting things come to mind. There are things that I need to direct my mind toward thinking about – things that God has done, both for me specifically, and for the wider world around me, that I need to bear in mind more often and be thankful for, not to mention the things He’s written to me through His word. They’re the kinds of things that would certainly preclude that sort of self-pity that I fear slipping into were I to stop for a moment and just think.
It is incredible to consider, for instance, that if I were the only one who would be saved, He would have still come down to suffer, die and rise as He did. Of course, that line of thought does beg the question as to how I could be the only one saved; who would’ve written it down, and how would it have been passed down to the point where I would hear about it and respond to it. Still, the point is made, even though I’m glad I’m not the only one he saved, and that because of that, I can be confident of seeing Him – and you – again someday.