This morning, I offered the meditation at our church’s contemplative service. I am sharing it in its entirety here. ~cameron
Psalm 63 [The Voice]
A song of David while in the wilderness of Judah.
1 O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust.
I seek You with every fiber of my being.
In this dry and weary land with no water in sight,
my soul is dry and longs for You.
My body aches for You, for Your presence.
2 I have seen You in Your sanctuary
and have been awed by Your power and glory.
3 Your steadfast love is better than life itself,
so my lips will give You all my praise.
4 I will bless You with every breath of my life;
I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name.
At my office, we have a box of cards that we will open up before a meeting. Our boss will read one as an “icebreaker”—a way of sorts to get to know each other. The card that has settled into my heart thus far posed this question, “If you could have 50 pounds of something, what would it be?”
If you could have 50 pounds of something, what would it be? Think for a moment but don’t overthink it. What is the first response that comes to your mind?
Some of the answers from my colleagues included gold, tulip bulbs, chocolate, bacon, and vermiculture worms (no, that wasn’t my response).
What came to my heart in that instant was love. Pure and simple. 50 pounds of love.
I know you are probably thinking, “Cameron, what does 50 pounds of love look or feel like?” Have you ever seen a child stretch her arms out as wide as possible and announce, “I love you this much.” I imagine in her mind, that measurement could equate to at least 50 pounds of love.
This past week, my small group at church focused on Psalm 3, another song, just like our Psalm for today, which recounts David’s prayers to God as he flees his son Absalom. You see, Absalom had come to power and had sent forces to attack David with the intent of killing him. To protect himself, David escaped into the wilderness of the desert and spent his time seeking reassurance and strength from God.
As our group discussed David’s plight, we raised a very important question: How did David’s love for God root him during this time of trouble and desperation? What about God’s love sustained David?
As I studied both Psalm 3 and 63 this week, that phrase “50 pounds of love” kept returning to my spirit. Fifty pounds of love—Was that how much it took for David to call on God? Does this measure the magnitude of David’s love for God—a love so big that it kept David focused on God rather than worrying about what might happen to him. And what can we learn from this kind of love—not only David’s love for God, but God’s love for him as well?
First of all, David demonstrates that by loving God and prioritizing his relationship with God, he finds strength and comfort in time of need. I’m not so sure that 50 pounds of chocolate, bacon, or even gold can offer us hope or reassurance.
David also reminds us to turn to God and God’s love rather than turning away or being distracted by something else. It is very easy in this day and time for us to call on technology, food, alcohol, or busy-ness to avoid dealing with any trouble or stress we feel. What we can learn from David is that in spite of any challenges we face, we can go to God in prayer and not only call on God’s lovingkindness but also praise it; for it is that love that offers us peace.
And finally, David assures us that God’s love is enough. In spite of family strife, being on the run, and having limited resources, David lifts his arms to the heavens and praises God’s steadfast love. There is nothing in this verse about tulip bulbs, sushi, or worms—it is about love pure and simple.
Last night, I had the opportunity to go on a walk by myself with the dogs. I had the road to myself so spent time strolling up and down the shoulders to collect wildflowers. I love wildflowers so as you can imagine, the bunch in my arms kept growing and growing. Before I knew it, I was holding onto two dogs with one arm and a large batch of flowers in the other. By the time I reached the car, both biceps were aching to let everything go. It felt as if I were carrying 50 pounds of something and my arms needed a break.
As I shut the back of the car and turned around, golden sun warmed my face. I closed my eyes and let it shine on me for a moment, feeling our Creator’s light warm my spirit. In that moment, I realized, there’s no such thing as 50 pounds of love. You see, the love of our God is limitless, offering a limitless sense of hope and peace, reassurance and comfort, strength and guidance. And if God puts no limits on that that love, then why should we?