Meditating on God in everyday events

Biblical meditation is filling our minds with the truth of God and then contemplating and thinking on that truth.  Typically we think of meditation as something done in conjunction with reading our Bibles, and that certainly is part of meditation.  However, as Thomas Watson demonstrates, meditation can be stimulated as we go through our day, relating the typical and ordinary events of our days to the truth of God:

1. Occasional meditations, such as are taken up on any sudden occasion. There is nothing almost which occurs—but we may presently raise some meditation upon. As a good herbalist extracts the spirits and quintessence out of every herb, so a Christian may extract matter of meditation, from every occurrence. A gracious heart, like fire, turns all objects into fuel for meditation. I shall give you some instances.

When you look up to the heavens, and see them richly embroidered with light, you may raise this meditation. If the footstool is so glorious, what is the throne where God himself sits!

When you see the skies bespangled with stars, think, what is Christ The Bright Morning Star! Monica, Augustine’s mother, standing one day, and seeing the sun shine, raised this meditation, “Oh! if the sun is so bright, what is the light of God’s presence?”

When you hear music which delights the senses, presently raise this meditation, “What music like a good conscience; this is the bird of paradise within, whose chirping melody does enchant and ravish the soul with joy!” He who has this music all day, may take David’s pillow at night, and say with that sweet singer, “I will lay me down in peace and sleep,” Psalm. 4:8. How blessed is he who can find heaven in his own bosom!

When you are dressing yourselves in the morning, awaken your meditation, think thus—but have I been dressing the hidden man of the heart? Have I looked at my heart in the glass of God’s Word? I have put on my clothes—but have I put on Christ?

It is reported of Pambo, that seeing a gentlewoman dressing herself all the morning by her glass, he fell a-weeping: “O says he, this woman has spent the morning in dressing her body, and I sometimes spend scarcely an hour in dressing my soul!”

When you sit down to dinner, let your meditation feed upon this first course, “How blessed are those who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God! What a royal feast will that be, which God prepares! What a love-feast will that be, where none shall be admitted but friends!”

When you go to bed at night, imagine thus, “Shortly I shall put off the earthly clothes of my body, and make my bed in the grave!”

When you see the judge going to court, and hear the trumpet blow, think with yourselves, as Jerome did, that you are still hearing that shrill trumpet sounding in your ears, “Arise you dead and come to judgment!”

When you see a poor man going on the streets, raise this meditation, “Here is a walking picture of Christ!” He had no place where to lay his head, Matt. 8:10. My Savior became poor, that I through his poverty might be made rich!”

When you go to church, think thus, “I am now going to hear God speak, let me not stop my ear; if I refuse to hear him speaking in his Word, I shall next hear him speaking in his wrath!” Psalm 2:5.

When you walk abroad in your orchard, and see the plants bearing, and the herbs nourishing, think how pleasing a sight it is to God—to see a thriving Christian; how beautiful are the trees of righteousness when they are hung full of fruit—when they abound in faith, humility, knowledge!

When you pluck a rose-bud in your gardens, raise this contemplation, “How lovely are the early buddings of grace! God prizes a Christian in the bud, he likes the blooming of youth, rather than the shedding of old age!”

When you eat a grape from the tree, think of Christ the true vine; how precious is the blood of that grape! such rare clusters grow there, that the angels themselves delight to taste of!

It is said of Augustine, he was much in these extempore meditations. A gracious heart, like the philosopher’s magic stone, turns all into gold—he has heavenly meditations from earthly occurrences. The skilled chemist, when several metals are mingled together, can by his skill extract the gold and silver from the baser metals. Just so, a Christian, by a divine chemistry, can extract golden meditations from the various earthly objects he beholds! Indeed it argues a spiritual heart, to turn everything to a spiritual use; and we have Christ’s own example for these occasional meditations, John 4:7-14. While he sat on Jacob’s well, he presently meditates on that, and breaks forth into a most excellent discourse concerning the water of life.

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