A Christian Meditation with Psalm 139
We’re not always aware of our anxiety. Anxiety is not necessarily a sense of fear or worry. Sometimes it’s just a low-grade self-protection alarm going off that we don’t necessarily notice. But it always manifests itself in our body even if we’re not aware of it.
Steve Cuss (author of Managing Leadership Anxiety)
He says that the first step in noticing anxiety is to pay attention to how it manifests in your body. Anxiety generally starts in either a racing mind, a spinning heart, or a tightening body (clenched, tension).
Let’s put our attention on different parts of our body to be aware of any tension and relax clenched muscles. This kind of meditation helps you become aware of signs of anxiety in your body and replace it by recalibrating your mind/body with the reality of God’s intimate presence and intense love for you.
Again, Steve Cuss says that anxiety is a signal to us that we have lost awareness of God’s presence and love for us. He says you cannot have an anxious thought AND awareness of God’s presence and love at the same time.
So let’s become more aware of the tension in our body right now, and relax and release it by becoming more aware of God‘s presence and love for us. This is meditation.
Psalm 139 was written by David (and written by God’s Spirit for us to meditate on).
Praying to God, David says…
Psalms 139:2-14 (NIV)
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
…6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
Now imaginary extremes to make the point…
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 …if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Then David meditates on how much God intimately loves him — even his very body that he created…
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God created YOU. And loves every cell in your body. Embrace your whole body as beloved by God — an important part of you. Who you are. You are your body. This is why biblical salvation includes the resurrection of your body when Jesus returns. A body restored to eternal beauty and glory and righteousness and eternal life.
This is why consciously reconnecting your soul/mind with your body — mentally inhabiting your body from within — feeling your whole body — the life energy of your entire body — is an important way to relax tension and anxiety in your body by experiencing God’s presence and love through biblically guided imagination.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry)
…In the chronic problem of human beings’ felt experience of distance from God, God isn’t usually the culprit. God is omnipresent—there is no place God is not. And no time he isn’t present either. Our awareness of God is the problem… …So many people live without a sense of God’s presence through the day. …But could it be that … we’re the ones who are absent, not God? We sit around sucked into our phones or TV or to-do lists, oblivious to the God who is around us, with us, in us, even more desirous than we are for relationship.
Let’s continue to meditate on David’s meditation in Ps 139…
Psalms 139:16-18 (NIV)
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand —
when I awake, I am still with you.
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