Are you a busy person? Not a busybody, mind you; but just going full bore all the time? Let’s talk about being taking time to meditate.
A recent text from one of my best friends began with, “I know you’re up to your earlobes in work, but I was wondering …”
Instantly a mental image filled my imaginations. I found myself thinking about how do you breathe if you’re up to your earlobes in something? In my mind I could picture myself tilting my head backwards so my nostrils were above the work, allowing clear breaths. Then I began to wonder, “Does work have waves?” and to picture waves of various sizes splashing to and fro; some of them washing over my head and making me hold my breath. That led me to wonder if you could breathe while “under work” even though you can’t breathe when under water. I’ll stop here (even though my brain didn’t). But welcome to my brain! Sometimes the thoughts and imaginations are somewhat strange, to say the least.
Today’s verse says MAY THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING, SO THAT BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT YOU MAY ABOUND IN HOPE.
When I run across a verse like Romans 15:13, and the phrase, “abound in hope” — and I want to take time to think about the concept of “abounding in hope” and see what thoughts the Lord sends for my consideration.
(By the way, there is a word to describe this process of stopping to consider a portion of scripture, focusing upon it in your mind and heart, and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit to lead and direct. This is called meditating on scripture. It’s quite different from some eastern mystical contemplation of one’s navel, or an attempt to totally empty one’s mind. It is a deliberate FILLING of your mind and thoughts with a particular element of God’s holy word. God’s word is living and active, just like He is. So meditating upon His word is an active process and, as you meditate upon His word, His Spirit will speak to your spirit.)
Coming back to Romans 15, as I meditated upon that verse I began to consider and search my memory for other words that related to “abound.” One of the first things that popped into my mind were the “up to your earlobes” images. Then I thought of being “knee deep” in something. Well, knee deep is quite a lot, but not as much as up to your earlobes. Other thoughts passed by in rapid succession. “Having a full plate,” “more than I can say grace over,” and “having no end.”
So I set about to plug those thoughts into the verse that began this foray into incredible fullness and abundance to see how these things could help me understand God’s desire to fill me “up to my earlobes” and beyond with His hope.
First of all — GOD.
He’s the source. So whatever follows is active and directed, it isn’t some cosmic accident.
And God is LOVE, so His love directs His actions. God moves with purpose, even when we cannot quite comprehend His purposes.
FILLS US WITH ALL JOY …
Yeah, all joy; that’s a nice image. If I’m filled with “all joy” then there’s not room for anything that isn’t joy. Good start!
AND PEACE …
Sure, joy brings peace, that makes sense.
Hmmm … Love, Joy, Peace, etc. Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before. The fruit of the Spirit. I remember.
SO THAT …
Cause and effect. Do this SO THAT the other will occur. One leads to the next.
YOU WILL ABOUND ….
Ahhh, it is DEFINITIVE!!! It’s not so I “can” or “might” abound if I follow His word in this area. I WILL!
That’s good to know. So, what will I abound in ????
(So I searched my bible app for verses where the Bible talks about “hope” and was reminded that:
Hope doesn’t disappoint.
Hope is revealed in Christ.
Hope let’s us “press on” – it produces endurance
Christ is the hope of glory.
There is a hope to which Christ has called us
…. That list of verses on HOPE went on, and on, and on. I was up to my earlobes with verses on hope!
BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ….
Ahh, the key to the whole thing!
It doesn’t rely upon me. (Thank God.)
He will fill me with His Spirit.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~
So, there’s an example for you of how to let God unpack His word for you.
He does it. His Spirit will speak to yours.
Does it take time? Of course! All relationships take time.
But making time for “time with God” is so fulfilling, transformative and empowering.
Invite Him to come and spend some time with you.
God is not silent.
Learn to listen.
You’ll be up to your earlobes in God before you know it, because His hope has no end.