Daily Devotion 17 February 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Psalm 46: 1-10 ‘Being Mindful of What the Lord Has Done’

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

During the pandemic, many people, like me, have been helped by doing jigsaws. Normally we would only have a jigsaw over Christmas when we have more time to sit and enjoy putting the pieces together but for many they are a constant presence. Personally, I have found that having a 1000-piece jigsaw to engage with has given me great comfort in anxiety. I read recently: “The opportunity to completely engage in a task and focus on nothing but the colours, shapes and sizes of each cardboard cut-out gives you the ability to escape from yourself in a unique way. Throughout this process, my perception of time, along with my ability to think of anything but the task at hand, is completely lost. This provides me with a well-deserved break from myself. I’m living in the moment, and no external or internal factors can distract me from creating the image I set out to create” 1.

I am currently reading Tim Stead’s book Mindfulness and Christianity, subtitled ‘Making Space for God’. ‘Mindfulness’ is everywhere at the moment isn’t it? Stead says “It can be described as being more fully aware of your own experience in the present moment in a non-judgemental way” 2.  The book suggests ways that mindfulness can help people to deal with stress and asks what does it have to offer Christianity? Of course, many Christians practise meditation and find quiet, reading, or guided listening a vital part of their prayer life. Working through the breathing exercises in the book I am learning to be aware of the present moment using all my senses and to still my mind and create space for spiritual growth. I am well aware that this journey is only just beginning and will take the rest of my life.

The Psalmists words: ‘Be still and know that I am God’ are set in the context of war, but verse 10 is a call to those involved to stop fighting, drop their weapons and be still. At the top of each Daily Devotion we read these words ‘Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath’.

Prayer:
Try meditating on the words of this chorus (and maybe hum the tune if you know it).

Be still and know that I am God,
I am the Lord that healeth thee,
In thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

Reflection & Prayer © 2021 Maggie Stirmey.
Hymn words out of copyright.
1. Angelica Pajovic: www.themindfulword.org.
2. Tim Stead, © 2016, Mindfulness and Christianity, London: SPCK.
Image freely available online.

A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356