Meditating on Truth: Strength for Today
Here we go... it's time to meditate on God's Word!
The Word of God is alive and active, my friend (Hebrews 14:12). Dwelling on its truth refreshes our soul and renews our minds.
You know that I've been asking God to teach me about patience this year. In response, He has convicted me of my need to take more times of resting in Him. Truly, it has been something that I've had to intentionally practice because it does not come easily to me.
I ordered the "The Word in Color" Bible verse coloring book to help me with this new spiritual discipline of meditating on Scripture. For the next four weeks, I'll be sharing how God has used this tool to help me rest in Him. I hope you join me!!
How to Meditate on Scripture by Coloring
I am not an artist by any means, as you will see this month... This exercise has not been about creating beautiful art but about dwelling on God's Word. If you are an artist and can create beauty in the process, more power to you! That's wonderful.
Here are a few tips to make this a life-changing experience:
- Read the verse in context before you begin coloring. That way, as you spend your time dwelling on Scripture, you have a much better idea of what it's actually talking about. Skipping this step can lead to some serious misinterpretation of Scripture.
- Consider each phrase of the verse when coloring and dwell on the truth it presents. What difference can/should this truth make in your life?
- Pray as you color and think. Ask God to help you internalize and apply the verse in front of you. Ask Him to help you more strongly rely on Him!
- Snap a picture of your verse and text it to someone you love with an encouraging note. Who needs the reminder of this verse and a little recap of how God just used it in your life?
I began with the first picture in the "The Word in Color" coloring book, which happens to be Philippians 4:13: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Oh boy, if there ever is a verse that needs to be read in context, it's this one. So let's!
Paul writes to the church of Phillipi: "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:10-13)
Paul is not claiming any selfish victories here but rather declaring that through Christ he has the strength to stay content in any circumstance.
Let me be completely honest. Whenever I come across this verse, my first reaction is to internally shout out how this verse is taken out of context way too much... and then I move on.
Dwelling on this verse was amazing. Here is what I considered while I colored:
- I CAN: This is a positive affirmation. It can be done, indeed! No more defeatist attitudes, my friend, I CAN stay content and patient in all circumstances.
- ALL THINGS: No circumstance will be such that I can justify complaining or other sinful reactions. None of these are beyond God's control.
- THROUGH CHRIST WHO: I actually began by coloring this phrase because I don't want to spend even a minute thinking to myself how awesome I AM to be able to stay content in my own strength. It's through Christ all this is possible!
- GIVES ME STRENGTH: That's right, ladies! Christ gives us strength. On our own, we might feel like crumbling to the floor in self-pity. Christ doesn't leave us there. He gives us the strength to get up and change our attitude. He gives us the strength to deal with whatever is before us - one hour at a time, with our eyes fixed on Him.
Oh, how I prayed that God would help me remember this truth the next time my inner peace and patience level was put to the test!
I sent this picture to a wonderful friend who is actually quite the closet artist. She loves creating beautiful things and allowing the process to change her mindset and calm her heart. I dropped her a quick note to allow her to share in the joy of God calming my heart through this special reminder.
Well, wouldn't you know that a day later, I found out that my four-year-old had lice? Oh no! I had seriously been dreading this day since before my children were conceived. I am not even kidding.
My mind was frantic as I raced to the drug store to get a lice kit. I kept repeating to myself how much I have been dreading this day and how it would change all of my plans. Before beginning the house and hair cleanse, I send a quick prayer request to the friend I mentioned above.
What did I see in my text message history to her? "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
It hit me! I can stay calm and even content while cleansing my house from pesty lice. I CAN - not because I am awesome but because God is and because He is providing me with strength.
I came to God with a different prayer: "Ok, I'm going to need that extra portion of strength. I am feeling it fuel my body right now. Ok, God! Let's take this one task at a time. Let's go!"
I can't say that I enjoyed deep-cleaning my house and my kids' heads or that I'd love to do it again... please, God, no!
I can say that God provided me with peace and calm every step of the way. When I felt myself losing it, I came right back to God in prayer for that next portion of strength that I needed.
I truly believe that the time of rest I took the day before set me up for success. Of course, it is just like God to give me that particular verse just when I needed it.
Alright... now it's your turn.
Pick a verse, dwell on it (with or without a coloring book), and share with me how God used this time to remind you of truth and give you the peace you needed to approach whatever came next.
May God give you strength today,