(Picture above- This lone creature entered the quiet cove where I was finishing up time with God. She entered without me knowing. She was standing quite still looking at the water when I looked up and realized she was there. I take her as a sweet unexpected ending of the labor of my time with the Lord that started last night and took a good portion of the morning. He will reward you too, because he promises to reward those who diligently seek him, Hebrews 11:6. Blessings on this blog reading and meditation...)
These last couple of weeks have brought some heart break, intense pressure, suffering, regret and moments of being at the absolute end of myself. Yesterday brought things to a head, and I felt so much internal upset after a disappointing encounter. I didn't know what to do to settle my heart. I was panting internally, in a distressing way. I couldn't find a place of rest. I guess instinctively because I felt like it simply would not work for me to try and "be quiet" and go into prayer, I walked. I went to the lake and walked in the sand by the shore. When it got dark, I went to a school and walked the track. It helped. It made me want to return to the lake this morning and find that sigh that brings soul rest that I wrote about in the last blog.
Experiencing "quiet time" is very challenging for many people. I have heard enough comments in various ways to know people struggle with meditating, saying they can't quiet themselves enough. However, being quiet throughout an entire meditation is NOT the method. It is not even close to the meaning of meditation. If you visit that link attached to the word meditation, you will see meditation means to moan, growl, mutter, devise, consider, plot, speak, mourn, imagine, sing, etc. How many of those are all about silence? They are mostly vocal, involving engaging with mind and heart to express oneself. To believe otherwise sets many up to expect failure in meditative prayer. You are not supposed to quiet your mind and empty yourself of all thought in meditation, you are to engage it. Neither must you be physically still.
Walking. Jesus walked with his disciples a lot. He used that time to offer amazing introductions and revelations to disciples, Luke 24:15, Mark 1:16-20. Walking was a primary mode of transportation in the first century in which Jesus lived. So, as a suggestion for those troubled in heart, having difficulty settling in, work out some physical energy in a walking session with God. Consider using a simple, repetitive phrase of "Help me God" or just moan and get yourself to a pace of deep breathing to get negative feelings verbalized in forcing breath out, if you can sing with worship songs while walking that's a great meditation!. Other suggestions below.
After my walking last night, I decided to get up this morning and return to the lake. You know how you search for that perfect spot, set up, and then decide its not the right spot, so you move a little and then its still not the right spot, so you move again and possibly even again? This was me for the first 15 minutes. What was bothering me was the "short range view". The band of jumbled up mess of dried up sticks and gunk that had washed ashore. I didn't have a view that didn't contain it. I did not want a tangled up mess in front of me. I much preferred the softer edge of smooth sand and shiny rocks just before the water washed ashore and the expansive view of the calm lake and morning horizon. I realized as I stared at the short range view that this was a metaphor of being consumed with only what is right in front of me. All the problems, all the mess, all the ugly, all disappointment, all the unresolved "stuff". So that is what begins the mediation for the rest of this blog. I took some pictures and a video to help you go through a process of going from the upsetting short range view of current challenges to the next step and then the next step and then the final wading into the waters. Grab a pen and paper and find a spot without interruption, or grab your walking shoes, and meditate with God.
Video begin- Take 2 minutes to breathe deep breaths while inviting the Holy Spirit to renew your mind. As the video plays, say whatever feels true to you. Examples- "God please help me." "God are you real?" "Jesus please walk with me right now." "Spirit of God renew me."
Next- You've taken breaths to help quiet your soul and invite God's help, now we are going to take a look at some things that need God's touch and help. God will help you sort through it. The image below represents a limited, short term view of issues right in front of you. It's the garbage that has washed ashore, broken pieces of formerly whole things, things that are out of order, gnats that are bothering and torturing your thoughts, the ugly of life.
Based upon visual #1 above- What comes to mind? What problems, upset, disorder, confusion is consuming your thoughts and feelings? What personal habits, words, or choices are causing disorder? God is merciful. Confess those weaknesses. What negative things are you focusing on? Write them down. You now have a soul burden to carry further for supernatural intervention. (If you are someone who wants to further process this part in a good brisk walk, you are encouraged to do so. Have a good talk with God on the walk, if there is confusion and upset about who He is or how He seems distant, talk to him about it. But come back and take the next step below.)
Based on Visual #2 above- This is the view just beyond the washed up muck. This is where the water has brought forth a collection of different rocks on smoothed out the sand. I want you to imagine it as a resting place. These rocks are people of which you need to be included. God does not intend for you to be alone in your problem, stuck in the gunk. He wants you to have a safe place of sharing and caring. (As an example, this week I asked for prayer and got it from 3 different people- one by phone, one in person, one in email. I looked beyond the consuming view and had hope beyond, to the view of not being alone in seeking God's intervention.)
Seeing yourself as one within that collection of others is to share your burdens with someone else, who would that be? Do you have someone who is grounded in Christ's love who will pray for you? Are you in a place where you are gathered with God's children to hear the Word of God and let it breathe life into you? Are you open to it? Write down your heart desire for a safe place and share it with Jesus right now.
Visual #3 above- This is the view beyond the smooth sand and collected rocks. You're at the place of stepping into the waters. Where Jesus calls people to trust him at deeper levels of supernatural life. What is a step of deeper trust you need to take to step into the waters and believe God will enable you to walk ON the waters? In His supernatural power? With His help? With God nothing shall be impossible, Luke 18:27. If you were to ask God for supernatural help for areas where you have no hope or help, what are they? Write it down. Luke 14:31- Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith," he said, “why did you doubt?"
Congratulations, you've just meditated as God intends! Maybe as a creative excursion, go and find a beautiful place outside that helps you be alone with God. Gather some stones, run your fingers through some sand, smell the air, listen to the wind in the trees, watch the birds, sit by water, walk a trail. Celebrate beauty and give God praise. He will reward you. Blessings!
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Follow us on Facebook
Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"