A Christian Meditation with Psalm 31:14-16
It seems like there's always something to worry about in our lives. Even when things are going pretty well, we all know that is a precarious window that could shatter at any moment. It seems like one of the guaranteed rhythms of life is that there are good times and then there are going to be difficult times we have to go through. Exciting times. Painful times. Times when it seems everything is sunny. And then super disappointing times. And then long stretches of time when we're not sure which way things are going to go. That's life in this exiled world waiting for Heaven to come back to earth when Jesus returns.
But the entire message of the Bible tells us that we can have an anchor of certainty in the rhythms of life's uncertainties. And until we find that anchor we're going to be tossed up and down with every next big wave.
We see this in the life of David in the OT, which is one big reason why his psalms (meditation poems/songs) have been so important in the lives of God’s people (including Jesus) for 3,000 years.
In one particularly painful and stressful time in his life, he and his 600 soldiers were away from their families and, upon returning, discovered that their enemies had burned their homes and kidnapped their families.
1 Samuel 30:4 (NIV)
So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
And his men had almost turned against him for it.
1 Samuel 30:6 (NIV)
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
Phrases like that in the Bible should stick out to us as important doors for us to walk through that give us the key to how to live in this world. "But David found strength in the LORD his God.”
This is what Christian meditation is/does. It is a way for us to find strength in the LORD our God.
Continue to focus on your breathing/relaxing rhythm while I read from one of David’s psalms.
There is a psalm David wrote (don’t know if it was this occasion)…
Psalms 31:9-10 (NIV)
…I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
…My strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
David brings into his meditation the effect of stress and anxiety on his body.
Let’s do that in our meditation today.
Give attention right now to the present condition of your body; your mood, thoughts, emotions, fears, and feelings as they are right now in the present. This is a way to inhabit your body fully. To feel the body from within. Body awareness keeps you present with whatever message your body is getting from your brain.
The first step in noticing anxiety is to pay attention to how it manifests in your body. Anxiety generally starts in either a distracted mind (ruminating on a past conflict or hurt; or an anger fantasy about the future), a racing heart, or a clenched body (tension).
So let’s put our attention on different parts of our body to be aware of any signs of anxiety or tension and then begin the process of relaxing clenched muscles and distracted thoughts by a meditation where we can find strength in the LORD our God.
Your soul is inseparable to your body. Everything is intertwined. …Your brain and body are inextricably interconnected.
So in David’s moment of great stress and anxiety, “David was greatly distressed…But David found strength in the LORD his God.”
Your English translation of the Hebrew says David found strength in the LORD, but the LORD is a kind of translation of God’s name in the Hebrew Bible — Yahweh. It’s translated in your Bible as LORD in all capital letters so you know the author or speaker is referring to God by his Hebrew name — Yahweh. This is actually the most often used reference for God (in the Old Testament) in the Hebrew Bible — far more than the word God is...