Dogs have a natural inclination to chew. Fortunately, our Lab falls into the category of moderate chewer. This means she doesn’t immediately destroy what she chews. Nor will she chew on just anything. Once Adi passed the puppy teething phase, she selected a deer antler as her chew of choice. Slow and methodical are the best ways to describe the way she chews that antler.
Not long ago, my morning devotions landed me on Joshua 1:8 where the Lord says:
Do not let this book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8
The phrase “meditate on it” caught my attention. I found myself likening the process of meditating on God’s word to the way Adi chews her antler.
When my Lab gets a hankering to chew, she picks up her antler and makes herself comfortable. She gives the bone an all over sniff. The spot that grabs her attention is the point where she begins to gnaw. After a bit, she pauses and licks the area where she’s chewed. If she’s worked a shaving loose, she’ll use her front teeth to pull it off. Then she’ll start at the bone again but at a different angle. When she’s satisfied her chewing desire, she leaves the antler and walks away. The antler itself may remain lying on the floor, but Adi’s body carries the benefits of that chewing session- stronger jaw muscles, cleaner teeth, and the nutritious minerals gleaned from the bone.
When reading the Bible, there are verses that leap out to me. This is where I need to stop and chew like my Lab. I need to gnaw on or contemplate the words, pausing to process their meaning, sniffing around the passage’s context to gain better understanding, then going at it from a different angle. When it comes time to lay my Bible aside, I can walk away knowing that I carry with me the benefits of that “meditating on it” session- stronger spiritual muscles, a renewed mind, and a heart fortified by the Word of God that is now stored in its depths. Just like my Lab returns to her antler, I need to return to meditate on the Lord’s words again and again.
“Help us, O Father, to understand Thy Word, and help us to apply it to our daily lives. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.” -A.W.Tozer*
Blessed is the man whose . . . delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night, he is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.Psalm 1:1-3
What passages in the Bible have you found yourself chewing on lately?
*Tozer, A.W. A Cloud by Day, a Fire By Night. Minneapolis, Bethany House 2019.
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