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Oct 4, 2020

270 Though I Walk Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death, A Guided Christian Meditation on Psalms 23:1-6 with the Recenter With Christ app

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

Psalms 23:3-6

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
2 In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.
5 You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord
for endless days.

Meditation on Scripture:

Much of my professional life is working with people encountering tragedy and suffering. Many times I spend time with others who are grieving losses. Most of the time I am not directly connected to those people. This week was different. I experienced a family tragedy. A dearly loved family member of mine was engaged in a lethal car accident. I have shed many tears as you can imagine.

What has been so comforting is the way in which God has bound up my broken heart not to the exclusion of sadness but just to prevent me from being driven into the dark recesses of the soul. In the middle of our mourning I have felt the concern and prayers of people across the world. There were church congregations fasting for our emotional wellbeing. We felt this support. God has an ability to bind up our broken hearts. As David says Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me.

I have spent a long time thinking about suffering and how to comfort it. One thing I have come to believe, and I feel is represented in this scripture, is that fear around grief increases suffering and creates feelings of darkness. I don’t claim to understand the full depths of human suffering, but this is something that I am intuiting about grief. Not all sadness produces darkness. I think it is a gift of God that I am working to understand. If you are currently struggling with the depths of suffering, know that trusting in God can help us gain strength to carry on and grow toward the image of God. For now I echo David’s words. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: Do you fear sadness?

Final Thought: I have been doing this podcast for coming up on 3.5 years and have never missed releasing an episode until this week. Regardless of how busy I have been or how late I have stayed up I have always got it done. This week I redirected my flight from Washington DC to the home of a family member to be there to support. I didn’t have podcasting gear and I couldn't do the live mobile because I don’t have enough subscribers yet. I appreciate the thoughts of concern and support for those who have reached out on facebook and in emails. It means a lot knowing that my experience, even in death and grief, can be a testimony of God’s Glory and bring people peace. I want you to know that God is aware of your suffering and your full situation. Your suffering will be for but a brief moment and when it is over, your growth in God’s eyes and the love that you have learned to feel will be all that matters to you.

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