The word meditation for some people conjures up a strange and intimidating concept. Although many religions around the word believe in in this practice, all too often it’s misunderstood. As a Christian I grew up understanding the importance behind meditating on the word of God as seen in numerous passages of scripture such as; “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. Joshua 1:8
In fact, as a teenager back in the late seventies and early eighties I was part of a church group of young people that met every Tuesday night to study and memorize up to complete books of the Bible for in a year. Students, would compete regionally in their district and even nationally. I will never forget the year our team won nationals, it was such a joy to bring home that trophy to our church.
I felt so special to be part of this group, of five teenagers and one alternate who would sit with our teacher and youth leader then, Raquel Martinez. Bible quizzing had been part of my life from age of 13 to 25. First as student and eventually once married, as the teacher of this group along with my husband.
When Randy and I had our first child Michelle, we felt it was time to pass the baton to the right couple and till this day they are still in charge of this ministry at that same church. Being part of this group was key preparation for us doing ministry, now for over 30 years. It has not always looked the same, but together with my husband we have served our community.
This laid the foundation for my life early on, when I first started my walk with Christ. However, seasons change and time constraints caused me to put this at the back of my priority list, I am embarrassed to admit. Today, I can see it was the enemy’s scheme to try to snatch the word of God out of my heart.
I noticed that for years I struggled with memorizing even small passages of scripture, specifically the references. This really upset me since it had been a regular part of my life for so many years. Surely, it could not be possible that I had lost so much information, after years of memorizing even books as large as Matthew?
Recently, I have made it a practice to meditate on a couple of scriptures a week. What meditating on the word has done, is bring back little by little a flood of these old memorized verses. I sit still before the presence of God every day and ask Him what verse I should choose to meditate on.
The first verse I recalled was what would now be considered a super cheesy song. A little tune that we used to sing. “Beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loveth, knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love. So beloved let us love one another 1 John 4:7-8” This tune, that I had not heard for over 35 years came rushing now to the forefront of my mind. What’s more I have been able to go deeper as these verses keep coming and truly reflect how the passage can be applied in my personal life.
Dr Caroline Leaf, a leading Neuroscientist who happens to also be a devote Christian in her book, “Switch on your brain” has been instrumental in helping me understand how our brains function and the need to slow down to participate in deep thought and meditation for sustainable change in our lives.
The level of insight and understanding I have gained about the power of our thoughts in a course of few months has transformed my world. Specifically, getting some understanding of the science behind neuroplasticity. It has made me very aware of what weight our thoughts have and the importance of what I allow into my mind. I can clearly see the mind body connection. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me in removing toxic thoughts and replacing them with the word to heal my mind, soul and body.
So are you curious to know what passage of scripture He gave me today? Good, I can’t wait to share. Today, the Lord brought back to my recollection the following scriptures, first Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Next he took me to a passage in John 5:8 where he tells the sick and crippled man, “arise take up they bed and walk”. What surprised me is that when I began pondering on these two passages, that he would link them for me.
Why did Jesus tell the man to take his bed with him? Was he just teaching him to be neat, don’t leave your mess behind? A good analogy to use on our sixteen your old son? Perhaps. However, I think there is a higher level of truth here. That in the past this was the man’s place of pain and sorrow but now that he was healed it would become a tangible reminder of the importance to not only rest physically, but also to find his inner rest in God.