Have you ever had a deep tissue massage? They say the effects have an almost cathartic effect. Several years ago, I injured my back. My husband was applying a muscle rub to the affected area and he began to press deeply into the tissue. It was painful and I found myself in tears. But afterward I felt relief and my back was much better.
This idea of deep tissue massage was on my mind as I read Psalm 19:14.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. —Psalm 19:14 (ESV)
Meditation in original Hebrew of Scripture refers to internal thoughts or musings. It denotes meditation or thinking in the heart as opposed to spoken words. It’s from a root word meaning to moan, growl, mutter, meditate, plot, speak, devise, muse, imagine, utter.
The word for heart in the original language refers to the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature. These are the deepest, innermost feelings and thoughts.
Is the meditation in my heart pleasing to the Lord? What are the thoughts I am pondering? Am I muttering or grumbling in my heart and mind about a situation or person?
Our thoughts and words flow from the heart—For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b NIV)
I am thankful for the Lord’s continual pressing to check the meditation of my heart. It can be easy to put on a good front, you know, controlling my outward attitude and impression. And in my head, I can always find ways to justify what I’ve spoken. But the meditation of my heart cannot—does not—fool the Lord.
I did some quick research on some tips and benefits of having a deep tissue massage:
- Increased blood flow — pressure to muscles increases blood flow and increases oxygen to the tissues of the body. Increased blood flow encourages the release of toxins from strained muscles and speeds up the healing process.
- Eliminates scar tissue — breaks up and eliminates scar tissue. Stressed muscles can block nutrients and oxygen from getting where they need to go and this will cause inflammation that allows toxins to build up in your muscle tissue. The inflammation and toxins contribute to pain and stress. Massage breaks up and loosens the built-up toxins by loosening the muscles. With toxins released, blood and oxygen can circulate as they should through one’s body.
- Improved posture — helps to body to realign itself. Treatment encourages relaxation and lengthening of affected muscles and tendons.
- Pain relief — exerted pressure stimulates blood circulation to painful areas and thereby relieving pain.
- Drink lots of water — being properly hydrated before and after a massage is highly recommended.
- Often painful — painful during and you can experience soreness afterward.
- Breathe deeply — during and after the massage breathe deeply. Breathing helps oxygenate the muscles and allows the massage to do its work and ease discomfort.
This brought to mind how closely a deep tissue massage parallels the Lord examining my heart, exposing thoughts or meditations that are not pleasing to Him.
God’s Word is a deep tissue massage for the heart:
God’s Word breaks up the hard places of my heart—removing the toxins and scar tissue, bringing healing. Past hurts, disappointments, anger, bitterness, envy, unforgiveness and sin are all exposed in the light of His Word and healing begins to take place.
God’s Word improves the posture of my heart—my thoughts, desires, and actions are now aligned with God’s. I find myself experiencing the peace, joy, comfort, hope, and love of being in His presence.
God’s Word is the hydration I need on a daily basis as I work through the hardness of my heart.
God’s Word can be painful as it seeks to eradicate the sin embedded in my heart and soul.
God’s Word oxygenates my heart and soul as I breathe deeply the truth of the Word allowing it to renew my mind and release the toxicity of sin in my heart and soul.
Is there something you are meditating in your heart which is blocking the flow of God’s Spirit at work within you? Is there something preventing you from being conformed to Christ’s character?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. —Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Rejoicing in Him!
Copyright ©2012 Susan Cady
Find more devotionals and Bible studies from Susan on her blog, susancady.com.