THE ‘LET’ OF LENT – Thursday, February 18th
Read Psalm 19.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 (NRSV)
This psalm beautifully describes how God’s glorious and loving word is everywhere! The writer finds God speaking through the heavens and firmament, in the day and night, and by words, laws, and precepts. When we are listening for God, we are wise to pay attention to everything. I often find that when an inspiration comes to me, it generally comes in several ways. What begins as a word that touches my heart in a conversation, is then rediscovered in a book I am reading. Or I may notice a lesson in nature, soon followed by meaningful lyrics in a song, or an inner, quiet thought that enhances the first inspiration.
The psalmist ends his observation of God’s word found in all of creation with his plea, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” This is our spiritual invitation for today. Our own thoughts and words should reflect God’s word, too.
How might our words and meditations become more acceptable to God?
How might we let God’s word be more clearly revealed in our words to others?
~ We pay closer attention to what God may be saying to us.
Jim and I have two toddler grandchildren who are quite articulate, but some of their words are less clear than others. As we spend more time with them, we begin to understand more of what they are saying. By observing the situations and surroundings, we can often piece together what they are trying to tell us. Sometimes I will ask them, “Show me…?” and they will take me closer to the place or item they are talking about.
In the same way, when we spend more time with God – by remaining aware of God’s constant presence with us – we begin to understand more of what God may be communicating to us. We observe our situations and surroundings for recurring themes or inspirations. We notice more of God’s presence in everything, from surprising stories to negligible nudges. If we feel unclear, we simply ask God, “Show me…?”
~ We pause before we begin to meditate or speak.
My counselor once spoke of the benefits of taking a moment to pause before speaking. This pause gives us a little extra time of awareness, a time to collect our thoughts, or put a guard on our tongue, or temper our words, or respond in love. The acronym, THINK, is a well-known checklist, but it serves as an apt reminder today. Will our words be True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind?
~ We pray for God’s help.
Sometimes when I want to clarify what our toddlers are saying, I ask them, “Are you saying this to me…?” Their precious smiles confirm that I have heard correctly. We can ask the same question of God, and wait for that peaceful sense of assurance. We can also trust that the Spirit is guiding us, interceding for us, “with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). Finally, we can keep the psalmist’s prayer always in mind: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you…”
Let us be attentive to God’s presence this Lenten season, absorbing God’s good and perfect Word within us, so that our every word – in mind or mouth – becomes acceptable in the sight of God and reflects the light of God.
The Bible readings for tomorrow are Matthew 8:22, Matthew 16:24, and John 11:16.
Bible verses taken from BibleGateway.com