A couple of weeks ago there was a devotional that struck a chord with me related to meditation. One of the themes of the devotional was how similarly related anxiety and meditation are.
This was extremely baffling to me! I mean, think about it... Anxiety is generally not fun and is viewed as something negative and to be avoided:
Philippians 4:6a - Do not be anxious about anything...
Isaiah 41:10a - So do not fear, for I am with you;
Matthew 6:25a -Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life...
John 14:1a - Do not let your hearts be troubled...
The point is that anxiety and worry is something that is not from God. I would encourage you to read those verses in their entirety, where we are specifically shown to seek God in our struggles against anxiety, worry, and fear.
Meditation, on the other hand, is something we are clearly called to do from scripture! Especially in the Psalms:
Psalm 104:24 - May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Load.
Psalm 119:15 - I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
Genesis 24:63a - And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward the evening...
Psalm 49:3 - My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
Here we see historical bible characters meditating, meditation being pleasing, and meditation leading to understanding. These are all good things, right? How then can anxiety and meditation be related?
They are related because it is the same thought process, but with the opposite focus. Pastor Rick Warren states it like this: "Worry is when you take a negative thought and think on it over and over and over. When you take a passage of Scripture and think on it over and over and over, that's called meditation." Ah hah!
Our minds want to dwell on things, but what are you dwelling on? Are you taking time each day to dwell on God's word? Are you giving yourself the opportunity to have positive things to dwell on, or just settling for negative things?
I'll close with part of the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13:22 - "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
Many suffer from allowing worry and worldly deceit to choke out God's Word. Meditate on God's Word. This is what we are called to do as followers of Christ. It is much more profitable and leads to much better things than the alternative...