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Ponder – what a delightful word!
To ponder usually means to think about something.
But it has more depth than that.
To ponder can mean to consider quietly, somberly and deeply; to examine attentively or deliberately or even to wrestle with.
One definition referred “to weigh in your mind.” The word actually comes form Latin meaning to weigh. I like that image. Take a Bible verse, for instance, and gently put in on the scales within your head balancing it with your life experiences, your beliefs, your hopes and dreams and let it slowly seep into your heart.
My favorite definition is to “chew on.” Or as Rainer Maria Rilke wrote writing that requires the reader who “does not always remain bent over his pages; he often leans back and closes his eyes over a line he has been reading again, and its meaning spread through his blood.”
Eugene Peterson wrote a book about the art of spiritual reading call “Eat This Book.” His definition is “reading that enters our souls as food enters our stomachs, spread through our blood and becomes holiness and love and wisdom.”
“Reading is an immense gift, but only if the words are assimilated, taken into the soul – eaten, chewed, gnawed, received in unhurried delight. Words of men and women long dead, or separated by miles and/or years, come off the page and enter our lives freshly and precisely, conveying truth and beauty and goodness, words that God’s Spirit has used and uses to breath life into our souls.”
Now that is powerful pondering!
For Christians to stay healthy spiritually, we need to chew on, deeply ponder God’s word.
“To know much and taste nothing – of what use is that?” Bonaventure
Here are five Bible verses I am “weighing and eating” this year. I have them posted by my computer and read them everyday. I journal about them, pray over them, and ask God to help me peel off their layers to find the nugget of truth He wants me to learn from each of them.
1. “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8b
2. “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your Truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.” Psalm 86:11
3. “Quiet me with Your love.” Zephaniah 3:17
4. “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:17-19 (New Living Translation)
5. “I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 (New American Standard Bible)
What Bible verses are on your heart this year?