So what would we do if we had a few spare minutes alone? Prayer comes to mind, of course, but another important activity is meditating, or musing on God’s word. In Gen 24:63 Isaac went out in the evening to the fields where he could be alone to meditate. David made time too, even in the midst of tending sheep, leading an army, and running a kingdom. When he was in the wilderness he meditated in the night watches, Psa 63:6. He anxiously looked forward to those times, Psa 119:148.
Perhaps it is most difficult for mothers to find time to meditate. Our entire day, from the moment we rise to the moment our heads hit the pillow again at night, is filled with “Mom, can you…,” “Honey, will you…,” and, “Ma’am you need to…” until our minds are run ragged. But even when we are alone we sabotage ourselves. When the family leaves for work and school and the baby is napping, we turn on the TV “for company.” When we drive, we turn on the radio. When we exercise, we slip on the headphones. I have decided that one of the nicest things God did for me was to not furnish me with a dishwasher. Do you know how much meditation can be accomplished over a sink full of soapy water?
Mary, as young and inexperienced as she was, gives us the perfect example--even as a new mother making the time to meditate, pondering things in her heart, Luke 2:19,51. The word “ponder” means to put one thing with another. But look at these other places where the same word is used (but translated by another English word), all in the book of Acts: 4:15—they conferred among themselves; 17:18—certain philosophers encountered him; 18:27—he helped them; 20:14—when he met us. In all these cases words or people were put together (pondered) with a purpose—to learn, to assist, to come to an understanding. So pondering God’s word is an attempt “to put it all together” in our minds. Anyone who thinks they can read it through once and get the whole picture will be sadly disappointed!
Meditation is not for the shallow-minded, but you do not need to be an intellectual either. The greatest benefit of meditation is the sheer depth of understanding one can eventually come to about God, the nature of his kingdom, and the beauty of his plan, Psa 143:5. One can find himself in a place he never dreamed existed years before when he so confidently knew all the Bible stories, the “plan of salvation,” and “the five acts of worship,” Psa 49:3; 119:99; and he can still see below him an awe-inspiring depth that makes Bible study once again vital and exciting, Psa 119:15. Meditation can spawn a prayer, Psa 5:1-3, making that part of our lives richer and deeper as well. In the end it can bring us acceptance by our God, Psa 19:14.
So make some spare time today. Get up earlier, stay up later, take off those earphones or turn off the radio. Spend some time meditating. You don’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel to gain a deeper understanding of the True God and his Word.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3