Oct 29, 2017
023 I Have Engraved You on the Palms of My Hands - A Guided Christian Meditation Podcast on Isaiah 49:14-16
As a Hospice chaplain and having worked as an ICU chaplain in a busy hospital, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open to be changed by the Spirit of God.
Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation, Visualization
We will begin with some deep breathing in order to remove distractions so that we can focus completely on God’s word.
Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:
As we begin, look down at your hands. Pick one and stare at it. If you can’t do this, visualize it or look at some other part of your body. Notice the creases in your hands. Try and notice every contour. When I look at my hands I notice small hairs, pores, and many scars. As you do this let your whole focus rest on what you are seeing. Perhaps you run your fingers along the palms of your hands. As you do this breathe deeply. Allow all your focus gently rest upon your hands. The imagery of our hands reminds us what we have done. These hands of yours have been with you your whole life. When you have held a baby, or touched the grass and dirt. When you have worshiped and sinned. This is part of your existence on earth. Perhaps you have lost the ability to fully use your hands or the experience discomfort. Perhaps you never think about them. Our relationship to our body is very complex and confusing at times. Take this time to breathe deeply and allow all your muscles relax. Don't run from feelings that come but just let them be without fighting it. Open your heart to the word of God in the Bible. I’m breaking tradition a little here. As you continue to relax close your eyes and keep breathing deeply. One of my new friends who has reached out to me via my website ChristianMeditationPodcast.com send me this message while we were talking about some hard things going on in his life. He brought up this scripture.
Bible verse for meditation:
This scripture is in the gospel of Isaiah 49:1-6
Hear me, coastlands,
listen, distant peoples.
Before birth the LORD called me,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp-edged sword,
concealed me, shielded by his hand.
He made me a sharpened arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
He said to me, You are my servant,
in you, Israel, I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
for nothing and for naught spent my strength,
Yet my right is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
I am honored in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth
At times we can feel dejected. We can feel overcome. Deeply in need of the peace of the LORD. Later in the same scripture we find this profound scripture. Keep your heart open as you receive this scripture. Notice what word or thought your attention rests upon.
Catholic Bible (NABRE)
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you;
your walls are ever before
Look for similarities and differences in this reading.
But Zion said, “The LORD has
my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on
the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:
Take another deep breath as you ponder what this scripture means.
What stuck out to you as you focused on the scripture?
Continue breathing deeply and pondering as I share some thoughts.
When I first started the podcast I started very exegetical and technical. Since there are many more people much smarter than me and the main goal of this podcast is to align ourselves with the spirit of peace my focus has turned to application. Part of me wants to talk about how Isaiah 49 forms one of the other servant songs. Similarl to Isiah 53 covered in episode 9. I'll place my focus on this follow on scripture.
At times we find ourselves feeling as though we have sinned before God and are no more worthy to be called his sons and daughters. At times we feel thrown off, neglected, or worse… rebellious. This scripture is a calm reminder of the care of God. I’ve held my own children with the overwhelming love of a father. As they have rested helplessly in my arms as they weep I have felt profound love for them. The love of a mother is even more unique. God correctly demonstrates that human parents can fail, but he will not. His love for you is so profound.
For you he treated the winepress alone. As he was betrayed outside gethsemane (which means wine press) He was crushed for our iniquity. He loves us so profoundly that he has engraven us upon the palms of his hands through his sacrifice. These same engravings he showed to his apostle Thomas after his resurrection. Remember as you looked at your frail human hands. God can hold the galaxies in His hands. His omnipresent omnipotent self was sacrificed for you and I willingly. He did it with full awareness. You and I have fallen. We have sinned. As we are held helplessly in the arms of God he pours his love over us.
Meditation of Prayer:
Pray as directed by the Spirit.
Pray now regarding the beatitude that is resonating with you.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:
I invite you to sit in silence and feel yourself in God’s hands.
Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:
What insights did you gain during these moments?
What thing will change in your life after this moment?
Use you imagination to fully visualize what that change will look at. Image one very concrete change you will make in your life. What new action will you take. Visualize yourself now doing this new action. Make it as vivid as possible with as much detail.
Visualize blessing someone else:
Now visualize someone or a group of people who need this message. Imagine what their face would look like as they receive this scripture in their hearts. Imagine how you can share it with them.
Print and use this scripture.
I release a new episode of this every Sunday morning at 1AM Mountain time in the US.
You can get more information about my podcast by visiting my website ChristianMeditationPodcast.com.
After hearing the blessings many of you have been experiencing this podcast, I feel it is a good idea to offer an opportunity for you to support that option financially I have a Patreon page setup to accept donations at Patreon.com/christianmeditationpodcast. In this way you can help support this cause of bringing peace.
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May you experience His peace in your life as you make these changes is my prayer in Jesus name. Amen.
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