It’s winter in New York City. The air temperature hovers just above freezing. A man puts on his wet suit and prepares to ride the waves at Long Beach, an area southeast of Queens where he lives. As he faces the water, he meditates on avoiding danger and prays to the ocean gods. His surfboard—a 9-foot Hawaiian-made job—features a picture of his now-deceased spiritual guru. The man says of the image, “It keeps me centered.”
This idea of being “centered” is a popular way to describe a state of emotional and spiritual equilibrium. It’s the goal of many modern—yet misguided—belief systems. As believers in Jesus, our inner strength and security comes from God (Habakkuk 3:19). When we contemplate who He is, what He does, how He relates to us, and what His Word says, we can experience peace even amid adversity.
David reflected on God when he was hiding from his enemies in the wilderness of Judah. He said, “I lie awake thinking of you [God], meditating on you through the night” (Psalm 63:6). Alone in the quiet of the evening, David was choosing not to waver or fixate on how he was going to get out of the mess he was in. Rather, his spirit was full of praise, prayer, and joy.
Psalm 63 provides some attributes of God for us to ponder. David’s spiritual “centeredness” likely related to these truths: God is powerful and glorious (Psalm 63:2); God’s love is unfailing (Psalm 63:3); God can satisfy our souls (Psalm 63:5); God helps us (Psalm 63:7); and God’s strong hand holds us securely (Psalm 63:8).
Whether we’re awake at night or distressed during the day, fixing our thoughts on God allows us to have the perfect peace that keeps us truly centered in this life (Isaiah 26:3).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Judges 16:22-31
Look up Psalm 19:14 to learn about how David strived for a life centered on God.
How does Christian meditation differ from other nonbiblical forms? What attribute of God comforts you the most when you feel discouraged or distressed?