Psalm 28:7 — Meditation on A Mantra for Strength

Psalm 28:7 — A Mantra for Strength
The Lord is my strength and shield,
My heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Stay with me. This meditation may wander like a Garrison Keeler monologue.

Although I had hung up the phone, I could still hear the student weeping as she told me about the guilt she was feeling. She was torn between school and duty as a caregiver for her aging mother. That led me back to thoughts of a co-worker, a professor. Her new promotion threatened to sap all her vital energy.  They were two strong women. They were two women in need of strength.

Strength and rest. Those were the words that came to mind early the next day. Strength and rest. What could I possibly say to either of the women in need of strength. Unable to shake the thought I picked up an old Bible.  My concordance pointed me to familiar verses about strength and rest. Among them were the familiar  verses of Matthew 11: 28 and Psalm 28:7.

Matthew 11:28 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I thought of the strength of Jesus. He knew how to rest himself in God. If only one could find a way to rest in Him. Surely one could find renewal in the scriptures on rest and strength.

Surrounded by this book and that on meditation and prayer I thought of the ancient practice of reciting the mantra. In the West we are so suspicious of the ways of the East we may lose touch with its wisdom. Did not the pilgrim recite a thousand times and more “the sinner’s prayer” as a mantra?

Looking again at Psalm 28:7  I saw before me a mantra of comfort and strength. One could simply recite the first line affirming the strength of the Lord, and repeat the second line affirming one’s trust. Breathe in strength, breathe out trust. In-out, in-out.

The Lord is my strength and shield,
My heart trusts in [You], and [You] help me.

prayer

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