This is a really busy time of year–Christmas. Presents to buy, food to prepare, parties to attend, and lots of family and friends to be around. Unfortunately, with this “most wonderful time of the year” also comes stress and anxiety, whether it be gathering with not-so-lovable family members, money challenges, or the traffic and hoards of people shopping. In any case, it’s a great opportunity to take a few minutes here and there to meditate.
Yes, meditate. The Word of God is full of meditation. In Genesis 24:63 Isaac went out into the field to meditate; in Psalm 77:12 the psalmist meditates on the Lord’s work and His acts. In fact, all throughout Psalm 119 meditation is frequently mentioned. Even as the Lord encourages Joshua to meditate on the book of the law “day and night” (Josh. 1:8) in the Old Testament, the Apostle Paul, in the New Testament, encourages young Timothy to meditate and give himself to the teachings and doctrine he was taught.
So try taking some time out of your busy schedule and meditate on the Word. Take a small phrase — like, “The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever.” Now close your eyes (please don’t do this while driving), speak this phrase either out loud or in your mind, then think on it. You could even divide this particular sentence into three smaller bits to contemplate: His goodness, His mercy, and the fact that it endures forever. So what about His goodness? How has He been good to you? How has He expressed His goodness throughout your life? And so on. (I could think on that for a long time!)
Meditate, according to Dictionary.com, means “to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.” Breathe deeply and contemplate. If you work at a desk, take five minutes of your lunchtime to meditate. If you are outside, take a moment to reflect upon the beauty of His creation. If you’re caught up in the midst of the Christmas rush, sit down somewhere, take a few deep breaths and listen to the sounds of the season – perhaps very similar to the scene in Bethlehem at Jesus’ birth with multitudes of people inundating the city for the census.
With the pressures of the season all around, I find that my peace returns to me when I take a few moments to meditate every day. My mind wants to wander back to the list of things I need to do, but it seems to be less stressful and anxious after I’ve calmed myself and meditated a little bit. I encourage you to try it. As the Psalmist says, “my meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.” (Ps. 104:34) It will bring you joy during this holiday.