When we imagine ourselves embarking on this spiritual journey, we presume that there is an endpoint. Or, at least, progress markers. If I meditate on God’s Word, eventually I will receive a truly peaceful feeling. Eventually I will feel God’s love tangibly. Eventually I will have a vision of heaven or something like that.
The first step on that journey is to give up entirely. In fact, the journey is a lie. All that you are, you already are in Christ. All you could have, you already have in Christ. You have been handed all by grace. You have nothing more to gain by your own efforts from God. Just as you were saved by grace, you will receive what God has for you by grace. That may mean you end up seeing some beautiful light like some of the old mystics. Or it may mean nothing happens at all. To embrace the mystic mindset is to be a tree planted by the rivers of water.
You wait, knowing that your roots will always be nourished by the flowing stream. Occasionally some may splash up against your trunk. But maybe not. It is enough to know that you are there with God. It is enough to know that there is nothing in your bark or fruit that sets you apart. In fact, it is to take the focus entirely off yourself. Sit by the river of God’s Word, take in His sustenance, and let Him decide your season. He washes over and through you as you are still. Your mission as a tree is not to sprout legs and find greener pasture, but to sit in patience by the river.
Meditation: reflect on what it means to be a still tree beside the flowing river of God’s Word. Picture the tree’s roots soaking up the river’s providence just by merely being in its presence. There is nowhere to go.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,psalm i (csb)
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.