Healthy Brainworms — By Jim Stephenson

It has rained for several days now. After a beautiful weekend, Monday morning slipped in with the sad refrain of a steady rain. And it has not stopped. Karen Carpenter’s melancholy “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down” crawled into my head, an earworm that wiggled around for hours.

Days on end of heavily overcast skies, blustery winds, and constant rain can get anyone down – especially when we’re coping with Covid-19 restrictions and non-stop negative news from the media. Do I hear an “Amen!”?

Still, when engulfed in a sea of bad news, we’ve got a lifeline of good news. God’s Word, so readily available to moderns like us and so necessary to the spiritual vitality of God’s people, provides the warming, brightening sun we sorely need!

Ironically, the terrific technology that makes the bible so handy on our phones and tablets is the same technology that diverts us from actually reading it! Our culture has become way too comfortable with noise and crowded with clutter. With so many voices assaulting us on radio, TV, news feeds, Facebook, Twitter, etc., we need to hunker down in God’s Word more than ever to find relief.

I don’t mean a superficial reading of a Scripture passage, but a deep dive into the Word.  The term frequently found in our bibles for this is meditation. Here’s a good example:

Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.     Psalm 119:27

Years ago, I was encouraged to use the “3M” method to absorb a Scripture text: “mark it; memorize it; and meditate on it.” Mark it in your bible with a highlighter. Then repeat the passage over and over until it sticks in your head. Later you can pull it up anytime and meditate on it.

In meditation we seek to discover what the God of the universe is saying about Himself, our world, and our hearts. We start by humbly expressing with the psalmist, Make me understand your way!”

The entire bible is one magnificent narrative pointing to Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation. And when we begin to dig deep into Scripture, we start remembering all that God has done in this great redemption story, sending Christ to save a people from their sin. In meditation we ponder God’s wondrous works.

As we meditate, we begin to remember all the ways God has worked in our lives, how He saved us, the opportunities He’s giving us to share the good news, and what we’ve learned about who He is.

As we’re reading and pondering, we should ask several questions: Why is this passage important? What do I need to know? What does it say about God? What does it say about me? How do these particular verses point to Jesus?

Ruminating on the Scripture can become a good brainworm that drives out trivialities that threaten to occupy our gray matter – a brainworm that inspires us throughout an otherwise rainy, dreary day.


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