Meditative – How Long, O Lord? Will You Hide Yourself Forever?

Words – Thoughts – And Nurturing Our Souls

The sayings of my mouth
And the meditation of my heart
Are powerful
Leading either to lies or to truth, to darkness or to light, to death or to life.

When the sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart are grounded upon and flow from God’s living Word, they are infused with the healing and life-changing power of Love and Grace and Fellowship.

This meditation is about the mystery and paradox of the wrath, power, patience, and mercy of the Lord God as he transforms human beings; a breath, a passing shadow, being put to death in the flesh but being made alive in the Spirit. This is our journey in recovering spiritual truth. It is taken from the Study Blog titled How Long, O Lord? Will You Hide Yourself Forever? if you’d like to check out the Scripture texts that it’s based on.

My prayer for you is that you will encounter the breath of the Almighty as you experience and contemplate this meditation and that your weary soul will be satisfied, and your languishing soul will be replenished.

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. Job 32:8 (ESV)

Do you regularly focus on your soul’s condition and needs as you do your body’s condition and needs?

Find a place where you can be alone, uninterrupted, and quiet for a bit.
Find a comfortable place and position to sit.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Consciously relax each muscle, one at a time, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head
Setting each one free from tension and discomfort as best as you can

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Note your thoughts, desires, memories, emotions as they present themselves.
For now, set each one free
Freeing yourself from their interruptive demands for attention
Confident that the Lord God will return them if there’s something you need to do with them

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Open yourself to the Word of God.
Open the depths of your interior to the breath of the Almighty.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Focus intently on your breath to the exclusion of all else.
For it is the spirit in you,
The <strong>breath</strong> of the Almighty,
That makes you understand.

Inhale deeply. My soul thirsts.
Exhale deeply. For the living God.
Breathe in. When shall I come?
Breathe out. And appear before God?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Become aware of your interior.
How does your soul’s thirst manifest itself? Turmoil? Making a loud, confused, droning sound? Raging? Moaning? Agitation? Fear? Shame? Covering up? Unable to bodily sit still?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Pour out your soul.
Spill it. Let the noisiness all drain out.
Through words of complaint to the Lord God.
Through tears. Through panting breath. Through groaning.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Pour out your soul.
Until you are free.
Able to accept life circumstances just as they are
With no judgment, avoidance or resistance.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Open wide to receive the Word of the Lord God.
Open fully to the breath of the Almighty.
Open eagerly to the Presence of the Lord God.
Allow the breath of the Lord God to convict, console, and convince you of the truth of his word
Of Life that is in his word.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Remember.
Hold the Lord God with affection and tenderness in your mind.
For his steadfast love endures forever.
For he is right in all his ways and kind in all his works.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Visualize a lump of clay
Set before you
Without form or feature.
Recognize this formless, featureless lump of clay as you
A work in process.
Note your thoughts and emotions and desires as you look upon the formless lump of clay.
Do you find yourself wanting to reach out and take control in forming it?
Or are you perfectly at ease in giving up all control to the Lord God?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Listen
Voices speaking
Saying:
Let us make human beings in our image
Let us make [your name] in our image
Yes! Having our essential nature!
Reflecting our own characteristics
Yes! Mirroring us!
Giving back our own likeness.
Note your thoughts and emotions and desires as you look upon the lump of clay while absorbing these words, these plans for you, these dreams for you.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
You are
Being created
In a loving unity of more than one person
You are
Being patterned
After your Creator/Potter
After Grace, Love, Fellowship.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Feel the barest hint of a warm breath caress your face
Enter your nostrils
And then
Ever so softly and quietly
Yet insistently and persistently
Spread throughout the entire lump of clay that is you
Infusing life
Enlivening, stimulating, energizing
Inspiring, informing, uplifting
Encouraging, cheering, rejoicing your heart.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
My frame was not hidden from you, Lord God
When I was being made in secret
Intricately woven in the depths of the pit,
The womb of the earth.
Your eyes
Saw
My substance
Yet being unperfect.
In your book
All my days were already written
My days had been shaped
Before any of them existed.
I am a work in process
In the capable hands of my Creator/Potter.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
You, Lord God
Prepared, repaired, adjusted, completed thoroughly the vessel of wrath
That is me
For the purpose of loss
Physical, spiritual, eternal loss.
But you, Lord God
Beforehand
In advance
You, Lord God
Prepared, repaired, adjusted, completed thoroughly the vessel of mercy
That is who I really am
For the purpose of mercy and active compassion
For dignity, honor, praise, worship.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
All my days were already written
My days had been shaped, formed
Through the squeezing into shape
Molded into a form, especially as a potter works
To determine
To form a resolution, a purpose
To press, be narrow, be in distress
As in the birth process.

You, Lord God
Use days, every moment, every detail that each day holds,
Light and dark
Well-being and calamity
Life and death
To form, shape and mold me
The vessel of wrath prepared for destruction
And the vessel of mercy prepared beforehand for glory.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
You, Lord God
Have kept count of my wanderings
All those times I have wavered
Between singleness of devotion to you
And my own selfish self-interest.
You, Lord God
Shake your head in sympathy to console me
To condemn my thoughts and ways as wrong.
And when necessary
You, Lord God
Toss your head in scorn
Refuse and reject my thoughts and ways as wrong and disgraceful.
Then your wrath burns like fire
To eat up the vanity of the vessel of wrath.
Your wrath eats up, consumes like fire
Everything that is destructive, false, useless, and deceptive in me.

Until I cry out
O Lord!
Why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
I am helpless!

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
I am <u>helpless</u>.
I <u>am</u> helpless.
I will <u>wait</u> for the Lord
To pierce and break through my self-absorption and self-aggrandizement
I will wait for the Lord
To penetrate the darkness of my selfishness with the light of his Presence.

Breathe in.
Breath out.
I will wait for the Lord
Who is hiding his face
I will hope in him
I will look for him
I will expect him
To bind together
Heart, mind, soul, spirit, body
In singleness of devotion to the Lord God once again.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
I am like a shadow
A passing shadow
That continues not

Breathe in.
Breath out.
I suffer.
Christ also
Suffered once for sins
The righteous for the unrighteous
That he might bring me to God
Being put to death in the flesh
But made alive in the spirit.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
The mystery, the paradox
The wrath, power, patience, and mercy of the Lord God
Being put to death in the flesh
The vessel of wrath
But made alive in the spirit
The vessel of mercy
Restored to singleness of devotion of the Lord God
Void of self-interest.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
<u>One</u> has died
Christ Jesus has died
He died for <u>all</u>
Therefore, all have died
You have died.
I have died.
We all have died.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
He died.
Therefore, you died.
He died for all
That those who live
Might no longer live for themselves
But for him who died for their sake and was raised.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
He died for all
That those who live
Might no longer live for themselves.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Do you live?
<u>Do</u> you?
Do you <u>live</u>?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Those who <u>live</u>
No longer live for themselves
But for him who died for their sake and was raised.
Those who <u>live</u>
The love of Christ controls.
Do you live?
<u>Do</u> you?
Do you <u>live</u>?
Controlled by the <u>love of Christ</u>?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Those who live
Controlled by the love of Christ
No longer regard anyone according to the flesh
Being put to death in the flesh
But made alive in the spirit.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
The love of God
The fellowship of the Holy Spirit <u>is</u> with you all!

I ponder
I think deeply
I consider carefully
I meditate.
Every morsel
Every small bite
I ponder every morsel
Of wisdom from you, Lord God
I attentively watch how you’ve done it
I relish
Everything you’ve told me of life
I won’t forget a word of it.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Focus intently on your breath to the exclusion of all else.
For it is the spirit in you,
The <strong>breath</strong> of the Almighty,
That makes you understand.

Breathe in. Rest. “I exist.”
Breathe out. In the power of God
Breathe in. I live
Breathe out. Controlled by the love of Christ.

Wait.
Be still.
Open wide the depths of your interior to the breath of the Almighty
To nurture your soul as you wordlessly confide in him
As he searches your heart
As the Spirit intercedes for you
According to the will of God
With groanings too deep for words.

As you enter contemplation shut the door to your room. This is your soul’s time. Leave everything else outside, on the other side of the door.

Open wide the depths of your interior to the Presence of your companions, Grace, Love, Fellowship to nurture your soul.

Breathe in
Breathe out

Be silent with a sense of anticipation. It is here in this openness and focused attention where the breath of the Almighty will make you understand that you really are who he says you are, alive in the Spirit, controlled by the love of Christ Jesus.

Sense your soul being drawn into the inner circle of friendship, to participate in intimate relationship with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of Holy Spirit.

Close your eyes. Stay in this position of quiet anticipation for as long as you can.

When ready
Open your eyes
Breathe in
Breathe out

Go, and live as you really are, as the breath of the Almighty in you nurtures and matures the simplicity and singleness of devotion to the Lord God that is in Christ Jesus. Live in wholehearted devotion to the Lord God, through the breath of the Almighty in you, controlled by the love of Christ today and every day.

<span style=”color:blue;”>Phil 4:23 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV)</span>

 

1 thought on “Meditative – How Long, O Lord? Will You Hide Yourself Forever?

  1. The silence of God and his Cosmos is the sound of life and freedom. Listen for it, practice it and you will truly become free.

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