15th February 2016

Let Your Heart Do The Talking! 

When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!  You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn? How long will you lust after lies? How long will you live crazed by illusion?  Look at this: look who got picked by God! He listens the split second I call to him.  Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.  Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.  Build your case before God and wait for his verdict. Why is everyone hungry for more? ‘More, more,’ they say. ‘More, more.’  I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, For you, God, have put my life back together.
Psalm 4:1-7 (MSG)

Can we empathise with David here?  Do we also create our own life stresses then try to use our own brain and emotions to resolve it—time and again?  Here we observe what sheer confidence David has in God to refocus us.  How?  Well, David pens an interesting phrase in this passage, translated in the Message Bible as, ‘Let your heart do the talking’.  This phrase refers to meditating, a practice it can be difficult to find time for in this busy, busy culture of ours.  Yet research, old and new, gives continued support to this beneficial activity.

[1]Dr Florian Kurth of UCLA says of a recent study, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating…Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain…they found that large parts of the gray matter in the brains of those who meditated seemed to be better preserved.”

[2]The Benson-Henry Institute have conducted studies showing anti-inflammatory effects to the human body using meditation, measured through alterations in gene expression.  Dr Benson says meditation induces relaxation that decreases metabolism, relaxes muscles and slows heart beat and breathing; decreases blood pressure and increases nitric acid levels.

Other doctors have gone on record to propose that meditation may reverse chronic disease.  Clearly, meditation is good for us.

David frequently mentions meditating—see Psalm 1:2; 63:6; 77:12; 119:15, 23; 143:5, etc. (NIV) In Psalm 104:34 (NIV) he says, “ let my meditation be pleasing to God.”  Reading in the Message translation he likens meditation to singing to God, (remember David was an accomplished musician and songwriter), something he enjoyed immensely as indicated by the volume of psalms he wrote.  Perhaps if we too associate meditation with an activity we enjoy, it might prompt us to meditate more often.  Personally I love gardening and find this activity prompts reflection on God.  How about you?  What activity motivates you to meditate?

Some say meditation should be in a quiet place without distractions, but recognize the brain is an amazing part of the body with huge capacity, able to adapt as needed. Find what works for you and grasp opportunities to meditate anytime, anywhere and everywhere!

The sons of Korah, friends and fellow musicians of King David, penned these familiar words, “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)).  Let’s be still and focus our attention on God.  Let Him put our lives back together again. 

Prayer
Lord, let my heart talk to you.
Amen
 

Study by Irene Tibbenham

[1] http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/forever-young-meditation-might-slow-the-age-related-loss-of-gray-matter-in-the-brain-say-ucla-researchers

[1] http://www.bensonhenryinstitute.org/our-research/published-research Lazar SW, Bush G, Gollub RL, Fricchione GL, Khalsa G, Benson H. (2000). “Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation.” Neuroreport 11(7): 1581-5.  Benson, H, Rosner, BA et al. (1974). “Decreased blood pressure in borderline hypertensive subjects who practiced meditation.” J Chronic Dis 27(3): 163-9.

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irenetibbenhamAbout the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a deaconess in the Norwich Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane
NORWICH NR1 2HX

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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