November 21, 2016
Day 3 - Meditation: Where?

"Meditation bridges the gap between hearing from God and speaking to Him." 
~David Mathis 

The WHO? is clear. The WHAT? is also defined.The WHEN? has been established. But theWHERE? of meditation is somewhat less distinct.

Again, as with the WHAT? and WHY? questions, we must go to the Bible for the answers to the WHERE? question. There are only a few scriptures mentioning a place of meditation:

Genesis 24:63-"And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide:. . ."

Psalm 63:6-"When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches." 

Psalm 119:148-"Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." (implying bedtime meditation)

Psalm 55:17-"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray (siyach), and cry aloud:" (implying morning, middle-of-the-day and evening meditation)

As you can see from the above scripture references (and will find if you do your own individual scripture search), meditation does not have a specific location.  Two of David's references include meditating after having gone to bed, but Isaac's example occurs in a field and Psalm 55:17's reference to evening, morning, and noon indicate that meditation occurred in places of the Psalmist's choosing.

In A Place of Quiet Rest, Nancy Leigh deMoss says: "Before the tabernacle was constructed, the Scripture says that Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the "tent of meeting."  Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp (Exodus 33:7).  This special meeting place was set up away from the crowd, away from the normal flow of traffic.  It was a set-apart place, a place reserved for meeting with God. . .”

There is nothing that can quite compare to the sacredness of my special familiar spaces--the ones I have made into "our spot"--mine and God's. In cold winters, by the fire, with a candle burning. In hot summers, in the cooler library, watching the redbirds feed underneath the river birch. In the pleasant springs and autumns, in the wooden arbor swing by the back fence. My tent of meeting holds a sacred presence for me that is comforting and strengthening as I wrap myself in its familiarity.

However, as a frequent traveler, I am well acquainted with going days on end away from my comfortable, sacred, tent of meeting place. And the beautiful thing is, His Presence is just as rich wherever I go to meet with Him. I am quite familiar with turning little corners of crowded airports or hotel rooms or car seats into a private meeting place with just Him and me. He fits into the smallest of spaces and we hide together for a few minutes in the pavilion of His presence. The unpleasant smells, the loud, raucous noises, the bare ugliness of concrete walls outside a tiny window are never barriers to crawling under the shadow of His wings and sitting with Him as we contemplate Kingdom thoughts.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (1 Corinthians 3:16)?

How wonderful it is to know that because of the gift of the Holy Ghost, our bodies are now the tent of meeting and when we are filled with His Spirit, wherever we are, He is!

Psalm 139:7-10)-"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

Our excuses are as dust, our reasons are mindless when we consider that He has given us every opportunity to escape under the shadow of His wings whenever, wherever. "You can't get away from me," he tells us. "Even if you try. There is nowhere you can go that I am not there."

I am intrigued and inspired by Brother Lawrence, the 17th century poverty-stricken, French layman who was a cook in a monastery in France for most of his long life. He had an experience with God early in life that rendered him spiritually aware in every action and circumstance in which he found himself. The Practice of the Presence of God is a translation of letters and conversations from him and offer insight into the heart of someone who had found his tent of meeting was with him wherever he went. He discovered the presence of God as he peeled potatoes in the cold, stone kitchen of the monastery. He discovered the presence of God outside in the garden. He discovered the presence of God in his job as an elderly sandal maker. "We do not always have to be in church to be with God.  We can make of our hearts an oratory where we can withdraw from time to time to converse with him there. Everyone is capable of these familiar conversations with God," he said.

I challenge you to retreat into your soul, your heart, your mind for short breaks of meditation throughout your day, wherever you are. His Word promises He will be anywhere you go. And you can crawl up in your own private tent of meeting and have an audience with the God of the universe as you speak the Living Logos back to Him.

I will leave you with these final words from Brother Lawrence: "During our work an other activities, even during our reading and writing, no matter how spiritual--and, I emphasize, even during our religious exercises and vocal prayers--we must stop for a moment, as often as possible, to adore God in the depths of our hearts, to savor him, even though in passing and stealthily. Since you are aware that God is present to you during your actions, that he is in the depths and center of your heart, stop your activities and even your vocal prayers, at least from time to time, to adore him within, to praise him, to ask his help, to offer him your heart, and to thank him.  Nothing is more pleasing to God than to turn away from all creatures many times throughout the day to withdraw and adore him present within. Moreover, this turning inward imperceptibly destroys the self-love found only among creatures. In the end, we can offer God no greater evidence of our fidelity than by frequently renouncing and scorning creatures in order to enjoy their Creator for a moment. I do not mean by this that you must withdraw forever from your duties, for that would be impossible; prudence, the mother of all virtues, must be your guide. I do say, nonetheless, that it is a typical error among the spiritually minded, not to withdraw from what is external from time to time to adore God within themselves and enjoy his divine presence in peace for a few moments."

WHERE? Anywhere.