Thoughts based on 2 Timothy 3
Recently I got sick to my stomach and lost my appetite for little over a day. The loss of appetite made me think about how much time energy and money we spend eating. I’m not just talking about the actual time from the first bite to the last morsel of each meal. I’m talking about all the planning, shopping, traveling, preparing, cleaning, reserving, (and posting) etc…that goes into each meal. Even when we’re not eating we’re thinking about it. I bet even as you are reading this you have a good idea what you’re going to be doing for your next meal.
If you think about it, it’s a terribly monotonous routine. We go through all that trouble, eat our fill, walk away from the table, go back to “life,” then a little over a couple of hours later (for some of us much sooner) we go through the ritual again. It is cumbersome, time consuming, and costly…and yet we don’t think about stopping. We just keep doing it over and over again. And we do this not because we are all so faithful and disciplined but because we get hungry. Can you imagine what would happen to us if we never got hungry? It is our hunger that drives us to so faithfully and diligently commit ourselves to the discipline of eating. If getting nourishment depended solely on our daily commitment to eat, I bet some of us would not only get sick or severely malnourished, some of us would eventually starve.
Spiritual life is a lot like our physical life. It needs to be fed. Paul says that the Word of God (rightly handled) is able to fill every need we ever have for spiritual maturity. And just like physical nourishment our spiritual nourishment cannot be sustained through binges. It must be regularly nourished through the regular daily routine of scripture reading. The problem is the spiritual hunger pains we experience is a lot easier to ignore than our physical hunger pains. Unlike physical hunger, the longer you go ignoring your spiritual hunger, the less you recognize you are hungry. If you ignore it long enough you will feel like you never have to eat again, when in reality you are starving.
If you are a Christian and have read the Bible with some regularity, you probably can’t remember all the various ways God spoke to you through those passages. You might be able to recall two or three passages that really impacted you. But every reading was important. You don’t always know how, but each meal was building your faith in precisely the way you needed. Whether reproof correction, encouragement, or inspiration God used every day in the Word to build your wisdom in Christ. I know sometimes it feels like a chore, maybe even a burden but don’t lose heart and don’t give up!