Some Thoughts on Soaking
The concept of ‘soaking’ in God’s presence, is not a new one. However, it seems that out of the experience of so many during the Renewal of recent years there is a strong sense of the importance of simply spending time with God; drawing on the love of the Father, feeling the tender love of Jesus towards us, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, as we set aside the time to ‘wait’ on Him.
In the past, probably this was mostly done in silence. Certainly those living in Christian communities as monks and nuns would know about waiting in God’s presence, as would many others who have made it a practise to spend time alone with God each day.
St. Teresa of Avilla, and St. John of the Cross both speak so eloquently about being in His presence. There were no CD or mp3 players back in those days. Now we are so blessed to have a wealth of music to enable us to enter into that place of quiet reflection with the Lord. There are many CDs of intimate worship songs, and there are an increasing number of CDs of instrumental music specifically created with ‘soaking’ in mind, all of which can help us to stay focused in His presence. There may be times when we feel that we don’t want music at all; that we just want to be quiet…. but we will probably find that the times of using music to help us enter in will surely have been a great help to us in learning to ‘Practise the Presence of God’ (as Brother Lawrence speaks about in his little book of the same title)
Soaking can be passive, but we can also enter into a time of ‘intentional’ soaking, when we are really asking the Lord to show us things. Maybe we need clear direction on a matter, or maybe we are seeking to go into an ever deeper place of the realm of His Glory. Perhaps we need to find His peace……. whatever it is, we know He will meet us as we wait on Him. We want to learn to dwell in His presence, not only when we ‘soak’, but in whatever we are doing throughout the day.
There are times when it is almost as though He invites us to ‘sleep’ in His presence….. to rest our weary bodies and minds! Setting ourselves to deliberately commit those times to Him are most helpful. He will meet us, and He will touch us and heal us.
As you set your heart to spend time with the Lord in this way, He will come with His Presence. The more we gaze on Him, the more we will become like Him. The more we ponder the things of the Kingdom, the more we will learn to live with a Kingdom of God perspective in our hearts. So, come! Enter in! Enjoy the time you will set aside to spend with your Beloved Jesus.
Recommended reading :
Practising the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
The Fire Within by Thomas Dubay (The lives of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross)
– I love this book!!
The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen