Resting in God
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” -
Joshua 1:8 NKJV
I don’t know about you, but I have heard that meditation is good for you.
Is it something that I have tried?
Sure, but am I good at it? No.
Over the years, I tried many things to slow down and meditate.
As a Christian, many have warned me against certain types of meditation, particularly of emptying one’s mind, so let us explore what meditation is.
The definition from the Oxford Dictionary says that it is a verb.
"Focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or chanting, for spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation.
To mull over something, or in Christian meditation, to be beholding and engaging."
For example, as in Joshua 1:8 Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (As above). This verse, of course, refers to the law of Moses or Mosaic law, which refers to the Torah or the first Five books in the Bible. As Christians, we now have the old and the new testaments. And therefore, many verses to meditate on. And as Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am come not to destroy but to fulfill them.
Paul and Timothy in Philippians 4:8 encourage us. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, what is admirable-if anything is praiseworthy-think about such things.
With these suggestions, I can sit and engage with a particular scripture or imagine God's face and Jesus's. For me, is it easy? No, as my mind wanders to other things. Then, it's helpful to write the distractions down and return to them later as I attempt to focus on God and ask Him to search my heart.
So when the other day I went for my usual morning walk, on which I usually take my phone to listen to a recording, I had the most incredible experience.
My phone was flat, so this day, nothing was distracting me as I walked and prayed, but then I noticed sounds. I listened to the birds, some twittering a song, some punctuating the air with a squawk. The paradise ducks flew overhead, crying out a warning to the other animals of our presence. The bellow of a cow, as it called to its calf. One bird made a sound like a slide on a steel-string guitar or perhaps a xylophone. Then I experienced the sound as my feet crunched over the hardened mud and then onto the gravel as I listened to the patter of my dog, Gemma’s feet and her breath a ha ha expulsion as she ran down the hill.
It was almost as if God gave me a gift, as I experienced a reprieve from my overactive mind, a reward for my earlier efforts, and it was delightful. I know that so many people love to be in nature, and I do also, but sometimes I can take my overactive mind with me, distracting from the beauty around me. This day I was amazed as I was immersed in the experience of God's creation in visual beauty and in sound.
Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still and Know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”