I’ve slowly been working my way through the book Can You Hear Me? for a few months now, and I keep feeling blown away by the awesome teaching on prayer offered in those pages. Completely loving it. And really wanting to finish it before Baby comes, cause who knows how much time I’ll have for reading then!
But I find it’s not a book you can read quickly – there’s so much to take in!
What I’ve been working on recently is the idea of having an imaginary meeting place where you go to pray and meet with God. It sounded kind of weird to me at first – the author described his meeting place as a quiet, secret, secluded cave. He imagines himself going in, sitting down by the fire, and spending time with God.
A cave doesn’t appeal to me at all, and I was trying to take this in, wondering what the point might exactly be, when it struck me – I totally have a meeting place!! Without even knowing this could be a “thing”, I’ve had one for over a year, and it came about in a strange sort of way…
Finding My Meeting Place
Every month, for the last three years, I’ve gone for a massage appointment/torture session with my therapist, Nigel. The pain is excruciating – I come home with bruises. There is nothing relaxing about this message, but it’s what keeps the pain and discomfort in my body under control for about four weeks, until it’s time to go again! I keep subjecting myself to it because it works.
It is fairly common to be sitting in the waiting room before my appointment, and hear the person ahead of me crying out in pain, swearing, gasping, etc. One time, a large black man came into the waiting room with a sheepish look on his face. “I guess you heard that?” he asked me.
I quickly assured him that I understood completely, and would probably sound just as bad when it was my turn.
And it was always the same – I would cry, sweat, and writhe my way through an hour long appointment, with no idea how to handle that kind of pain.
But one day, I was doing some reading on meditation, and I thought, “If I can just meditate hard enough to distance myself from what’s happening to my body, maybe I would be able to handle it a bit better.”
So at my next appointment, I decided to recite Scripture in my head. The passage I knew the best was Psalm 23, so for an hour straight, I said that Psalm to myself over and over and over again.
It was amazing.
It was actually possible to separate my mind from my body – I put all of my energy into imagining that green pasture, and walking by those quiet waters. I hung onto Jesus like never before, until He consumed my thoughts, and I made it through the hour without making a peep.
Having such success, I tried it again the next month. And again, and again, until now, a year later, I can report that I’m still doing the same thing. I’ve tried switching to different passages, but keep going back to my pasture!! It’s become my meeting place.
I’m trying to think of good reasons for why it’s necessary to have such a place, but it’s difficult to put into words – the closest thing I can compare it to is the feeling you get when you come home after being gone for awhile, and you’re tired, and the comfort and familiarity of your own place hits the spot like nothing else can.
That’s how I feel about my pasture – in my mind, I go to that place with green grass and trees, and clear fresh water, and it feels like I belong – I’ve “been” there so many times, and it’s where Jesus has “met” me, and strengthened and comforted me, and I keep wanting to go back.
He restores my soul there! What could be better?!
What a Meeting Place Could Look Like
Maybe reading all of that sounds as weird to you as the cave sounded to me. And maybe that’s okay, because you need to go get your own spot! I was thinking about how many places in Scripture would make such fantastic meeting places – the Garden of Gethsemane, or the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
But maybe it doesn’t even need to be something like that – I once heard a speaker talk about how she always imagines Jesus sitting on her bed, waiting for her. When she comes into the room, His eyes light up with such love and joy, it takes her breath away. She imagines herself climbing into His lap, and feeling completely secure and at peace.
Your meeting place could be anywhere, really. But one thing I love the most is that it uses our imaginations, which were given to us by God, and can be used by Him to deepen our connection with Him.
So now I’m curious – does anybody else have a special meeting place? Have you ever imagined yourself meeting with Jesus in a particular spot?