From the Desk of Pastor Stan

In a letter to the Chimes, I begin a discussion on Meditation. I would like to continue that same discussion using a different approach. This past week I was blessed to have a wonderful conversation with one of the members here at Bethel Wesley. It was a very thought-provoking conversation that led me to share these thoughts with you. When meditating on God’s word, it’s important to put the scriptures in context.  <!–split–>

One of my professors at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta would often use the term contextualization ….. making it relevant for what is going on in today’s society. And looking at the scriptures from the lens of what one is experiencing at that moment.

Case in point: when I read the 23rd Psalm, what does it mean to say the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

What is a shepherd and why was the Lord as a shepherd so important to David? Additionally, how does this passage of scripture relate to me?

I believe the 23rd Psalm was David’s profession of joyful trust in the Lord. David appears to be convinced that the Lord as a Shepherd represented security and protection in times of danger and distress. David also sees the Lord as a provider and that he will enjoy goodness all his life as well.

Shepherds often lead their sheep to areas where they would be secure and experience contentment alongside still waters that provided refreshment. I honestly believe that God refreshes us daily. He gives us strength and wisdom.

When I meditate on the 23rd Psalm in its entirety, I am refreshed and revived. Like David, I am comforted, confident, and my faith becomes and remains grounded in the love I know God has for me. This brings me to this question: what does this Psalm really meant to you? How has it aided you in your walk with God daily?

This brings me back to my point about meditation and resting in the Lord. As recorded in the Bible, rest is built on the foundation of trust in God, even in seemingly impossible circumstances. King David’s writing of the psalms written as he ran for years from King Saul’s murderous pursuit, particularly in Psalms 1-42. Despite being under intense and even deadly pressure, David continually sought God, trained himself to keep his focus on God, and ultimately trusted in God’s protection, His provision, and best of all, His presence. While this may seem counter-intuitive to some, it is quite possible to find rest and peace in God during the most difficult times in our lives. May I suggest perhaps the only way we can survive such difficult times is by making active decisions to rest in God. For me meditation affords me the opportunity to go a little deeper to see where God leads and what He will reveal.