Surprised by Meditation

Do you struggle to quiet your mind some nights? Your body is ready for sleep, but your mind isn't. Frustrating, isn't it? Try meditating on this for peace. #sleep #Bible #God

You may be able to relate: your body is ready for sleep, but your mind isn’t. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Some nights while trying to fall asleep, my mind is still racing after a busy day. Unfinished tasks threaten to nag my weary body back out of bed. I forgot to transfer the laundry. I started the dishwasher, right? When does that order need to be finished by again?

When waking in the middle of the night, I sometimes struggle to quiet my mind, too. Unsolved problems attack my mind and anxiety attacks my heart as I flounder to find the underlying causes, hopeful that resolutions will suddenly materialize.

I’ve had numerous bouts with sleeplessness (usually due to adrenal exhaustion). When the insomnia-insanity flares, it’s not long before I’m looking for an easy solution—because who wants to exert energy when you’re exhausted?

My friend, I found the answer!

It’s times like these that I think about Isaiah 26:3. Why just this specific verse? Wait until I tell you about it.

This verse works! I concentrate on thinking only about this scripture over and over, and next thing I know the Sandman has come to visit.

This process has turned into a sort of sleeping pill.

But seriously, it gets better.

The other night I was having one of those nights of tossing and turning. As I was about to pop my “spiritual sleeping pill,” I had the idea to think about each word and savor it slowly like a piece of chocolate. It surprised me at how each word spoke a 3-second sermon to my weary soul. Check out this breakdown.

Do you struggle to quiet your mind some nights? Your body is ready for sleep, but your mind isn't. Frustrating, isn't it? Try meditating on this for peace.

Meditating on Isaiah 26:3

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

You. This word is referring to God. It’s always good to get God on the brain.

Keep. What a comforting word! When I think about “keep,” I think about when you are purging old, unused items in your house and you ask the question, “Do I toss or keep?” The items you keep are, of course, the ones that are valuable to you. In relating this word to your savoring process, I think God is “keeping” you. He is keeping you close and safe.

Him. This word refers to you—His child. You can know that this promise is specifically for you.

In. This word is a preposition. It is often used in a prepositional phrase such as “in the basket.” It shows placement. The dictionary actually says it indicates inclusion in a space. So let’s see which area this word is taking you.

Perfect. If any gift is coming from God, you know it is going to be perfect. (James 1:17) I looked this word up in the Greek Lexicon for this verse and found that it is tied in with the word “peace” which directly follows it. That means they come as a unit.

Peace. It stems from the root Shalom, from H7999, and means “safety, soundness (in body).” That is perfect when you’re trying to go to sleep! Peace, indeed!

Whose. A possessive pronoun referring to something you own. What do you possess? See the next word.

Mind. Your mind is involved here. No one else gets to decide what is on your mind but you. Go back and read the previous sentence again.

Is. This is a state of being verb, indicating what is in existence or happening now.

Stayed. Now you get to the action that you do! “Stayed” here means your mind is fixed. Concentrating. Meditating.

On. This word is a preposition that helps you realize what something is attached to or is supported by (for example, on the table.) What your mind is fixed and concentrating on is attached to something else. In this case, Someone else.

You. God, again! It started with God—now you are going to keep God on your mind.

Do you struggle to quiet your mind some nights? Your body is ready for sleep, but your mind isn't. Frustrating, isn't it? Try meditating on this for peace.

The Home Stretch of Your Meditating

Hang in there because you’re coming to the home stretch with this verse!

Because. This word lets you know that there is a reason coming. What is going to catapult your promise into place?

He. “He” is referring to you again. It’s a heads up that you have another part to play in the process.

Trusts. Not only do you choose to concentrate on thinking about God, but choose to trust Him. Remember the weights that have been keeping you awake, or causing that feeling of unrest? Oh, yeah, this is why you started meditating on this verse! It’s at this moment that the choice arises to trust God.

In. Remember this word shows placement, and it indicates inclusion in a space. So let’s see which area this word is taking you.

You. This word brings you to God. You trust in Him. Not your circumstances, problems, stresses, other people, money, jobs, possessions, or anything else. Just. God.

Try Meditating

The next time you are tossing and turning because problems are plaguing your mind, try this! When you’re bored trying to go to sleep, try this “sleeping pill”! If you are worried during the night—or day—think through the words in this verse.

Slowly. Let them savor—like a piece of chocolate. God will minister life and peace to your heart through His word.

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? What do you do to fall back to sleep? Share your tips in the comments below.

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  1. Yes, to savor God’s word is beautiful. Now that I would remember as I toss and turn. I am sure if I desire this, the Holy Spirit will remind me.
    I love the picture of the rabbit and the chocolate. When I read that, I suddenly had a desire for some of it…but my heart wants God close. Thanks for encouraging me this day.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. I would share my chocolate, but…I already ate it. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for visiting, linda!

  2. Steven Sawyer says:

    Kelly, This is amazing. I’m going to try it. A good thing about your pill is that it contains no harmful chemicals. It is sugar free, calorie free, gluten free and contains no artificial sweeteners (except the fruit of the Spirit) I might try to meditate on Psalm 139:23 sometime too. Seriously, I look forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yep, nothing harmful or artificial about God’s Word!

      1. Steven Sawyer says:

        Amen to that!

  3. Oh yes, how I can relate. I’ve always loved that verse and I love the way you dig into it here and break it down for us. Good stuff here. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I REALLY like this way of breaking down/meditating on Scripture! I did a word study on “help” this morning. In that particular use, it meant “pregnant with”. Mind.Blown.!!
    When we really sit and dig, we find such treasure!!!
    Psalm 119:162 [I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.]

  5. This is my go-to verse when I can’t sleep, to. I say it so often it has become routine. Tonight I am going to intentionally savor it, too. Thank you for such a good idea!

  6. Kelly, I love this! I also wrote about interrupting God’s lullaby with critical self-talk this week. There’s nothing more frustrating than laying down exhausted and ready for sleep, and then watching reruns of your mistakes, worries, and tomorrow’s “to-do” list playing constantly in your mind.
    Having a verse to meditate on can bring our minds back to where true rest can be found – God’s faithfulness. I’m going to add this verse to my Bedtime Battle routine.
    Great idea to meditate on one word at a time!

    1. I love that you said true rest is found in God’s faithfulness. So true. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

  7. This post blessed me this morning. Thank you for writing this. It’s just what I needed and will practice tonight as I get to bed. xx

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      So glad to hear it, Carolina! Sweet dreams. πŸ˜‰

  8. Kelly, this is a great post! I’m writing articles for a Christian meditation app that has yet to be released, and my theme verse for 2017 is Isaiah 26:3. Such a fitting post for this time in my life! Sharing on FB and Twitter.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks, Sarah!

  9. I spent the past few minutes memorizing this verse. I have too many nights that are spent in wakeful drowsiness while my mind is whirring along. Thank you so much, Kelly. I will be meditating on Isaiah 26:3 and others.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      That’s wonderful, Linda! It will make a difference!

  10. Love the breakdown. It was like savoring choice morsels slowly. Wow. I need to repeat.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It’s actually better than chocolate, right? πŸ˜‰

  11. I find praying in the long, still time of waking (too early) will eventually drift me back to sleep. Meditating on scripture is a wonderful thing to do on the night watch! xo Visiting from Meg’s today. #19

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes, Susan, prayer becomes a natural part of the process. Those anxious times turn into sweet ones. I’m glad you visited today! πŸ™‚

    2. Instead of meditating, I call this practice “pray-reading,” as the two are the same as you pray over each word or phrase to find the deeper meaning of God’s words. The Word of God is living and brings life to our spirit as we explore through our prayer all the resources of our God. As we do pray-reading, the Biblical words will remain within as a resource whenever there is a need that can be addressed. It’s wonderful to have such a recipe for sleeplessness and at the same time, have the peace of God which passes understanding, to keep us in Christ Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 has new meaning to me as I reflected and prayed over the words you wrote. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how the Word can bring health and peace to our daily life.

  12. I was introduced to contemplative prayer by, all people, Judge Reinhold at a Willow Creek conference many years ago, Kelly. You may be too young to remember Judge but he was Eddie Murphy’s bumbling side-kick in Beverly Hills Cop and was the “close-talker” in a Seinfeld episode back in the day. Anyway, he and his wife are believers and really champion this kind of prayer. I’ve never thought of doing it to try and get to sleep, though. I could have used it last night, since I was struggling a bit! Thanks for the great idea, my friend!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      How neat! Im sure if you try this it will prove useful. Happy you joined us today, my friend!

  13. I love this! So often meditation is thought of as “new age” but it’s biblical. Reclaiming mediation the way God describes! Amen!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      So glad to see you here, Becky! I’m secretly hoping that SEO will pull in some New Agers to find some truth! πŸ™‚

  14. Hey Kelly, This sentence resonated with me “No one else gets to decide what is on your mind but you.” And meditating is the perfect way to choose to put God and His Goodness on your mind!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Agreed, Neca! Thanks for joining the conversation today!

  15. I’m excited to try this next time insomnia comes to visit! Great post!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Awesome! God is good!

  16. I have discovered the exact same blessing, Kelly. Another big help has been praying the Examen, which encourages me to focus on the happenings of the day with thanksgiving in mind. It’s a gift that God helps us to train our minds into good paths to fight the lies and anxiety that fatigue can usher in.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      That sounds like a good plan, Michele! Thanks for sharing.

  17. What a beautiful post, Kelly. I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing. I don’t sleep well either. Sometimes prayer works for me, but most of the time I end up thinking about all the things/people I’m praying about which keeps my mind swirling. One thing I’d heard a few years ago that works decently for me is counting backward from 100. Sounds odd, but the idea is that we’re so familiar with the numbers that if we counted forward, we’d still be able to let extra thoughts slip into our minds. Counting backward, it’s hard to think about anything but the next number and it’s so mundane that is bores you. πŸ™‚ Believe it or not, it actually works fairly well for me, sometimes. Nothing is fool proof, but I’ll take all the help I can get. Look forward to trying your verse meditation method. Love it. — So glad you got your package. Hope you enjoy! xoxo

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Counting backwards from 100 would be boring! Ha! But it makes sense. I hope you enjoy meditating on this verse. It’s a keeper! πŸ™‚

  18. What a fantastic read! At times I suffer from extreme insomnia, 2 hours a night for over a week sometimes and it is miserable. I have tried so many things, including praying, but I have not tried this. Thank you so much! I pinned and shared on FB. Many Thanks 8)

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Debra, I’m sorry you have that kind of insomnia sometimes. I can relate. I know meditating on this verse will make a huge difference for you. Happy sleeping and thanks for sharing!

  19. This verse in Isaiah is one of my go-to’s, too! Having been a chronic insomniac since I was 14, I’ve tried lots of things. I’m also a chronic list-maker. When I can’t sleep, I avoid making or checking off lists in my head. I also learned to “unlace” my fingers after I noted how doing that stress my arms, shoulders, and neck. Finally, taking every thought captive to the mind of Christ brings a peace that fosters a restful night. Sweet dreams, Kelly.

  20. Kelly,
    Theis post was fantastic. Thank you for taking us through the steps. One always hears about how meditation can be so good, but the picture I come up with in my mind is entirely different. I never thought about taking each word. Saving this post! Maree

  21. Love this Kelly! I have done something similar when worried or anxious of repeating scripture in my mind and resting in His presence in His words. Such comfort! Thank you!

  22. I love this simple, yet thorough, explanation for what it means to meditate on God’s Word! I frequently encourage people to not just read or memorize, but really meditate on the Word. But I have not put this to work on those sleepless nights. I can’t wait to try it. What a double blessing … sleep and more of Him!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It is a double blessing, Donna! God is good! πŸ™‚

  23. practical! I use Colossians 3:2 and it helps more than chocolate – great post, Kelly1

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Great to see you here again, Sue! That’s another good verse.

  24. Kelly, this is wonderful! I love how you broke down each word, further explaining the meaning of the text.
    I have certainly had my own struggles with unrest too. I will give this a go next time!
    Ps- thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I enjoy “meeting” my fellow sisters in the field. πŸ™‚


    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It’s a pleasure to connect with you, Rachel! πŸ’›

  25. This is my trust verse, Kelly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on this verse to keep my heart at peace and my mind at rest. But I love the way you broke this down! So wonderful!!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      How neat to learn it’s your trust verse. πŸ™‚ It’s been a special verse to me for years. I’m so glad to have more from it now. God is good!

  26. Kelly, I love this! I’ve always recited the 23rd Psalm. My mom suggested it years ago as it was her habit for years. This verse is so perfect for the sleepless night. I’m definitely trying this the next time sleep is elusive. Blessings, my friend!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks, Deb, and the 23rd Psalm sounds like a good one to try!

  27. Kelly, I often pray and think of specific verses when I can’t sleep for long stretches, but I’ve never thought about breaking down one verse like this. Thanks for outlining how to do it!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      You’re welcome, Lois, and I’m glad you stopped by!

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