A Lesson on Chewing

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.

© 2019-2020, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved

11 thoughts on “A Lesson on Chewing

  1. I’m so glad I had to make an account for this for my Digital Media Writing class so I can send replies to you. I’m so happy to have met you’re family the other day hiking! I am in love with this page. This is such a beautiful approach to owning a dog and intertwining it with your religious lifestyle. Adi’s chewing behavior reminds me greatly of the way my Casey (the chocolate lab we spoke about) acted towards her favorite bones. I have never meditated on her chewing as much- my spirituality blossomed after she left us.
    I am eternally grateful to have run into you guys, and will visit this page often to keep the connection flowing. Hopefully many of your words, like this one, rekindle thoughts of my beloved Casey so I can continue learning from her in the afterlife.

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    1. Oh, it is so good to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by to read. It was such a delight meeting and chatting with you on the trail. Adi truly took a shine to you. She knew immediately that you have a heart that loves Labradors. I am so glad that reading the lessons brings back good memories of Casey! She sounds like a wonderful dog to have had by your side as you grew up. I had to smile when you told me about Casey and her sticks, as “sticks” are the topic of the next lesson to be released later this month. I hope the fall is filled with many more beautiful days so you can venture out to explore more trails in the area.

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    1. Thank you Alan! The Lord for He is good in His gifts of dogs and words to write. Blessings to you as well and may you enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart, may you enter His courts with praise as you begin this new day (Psalm 100:4).

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  2. Pat B

    This is a good reminder for us all. I think we too often just “read” a passage and think that we “get it.” But we need to “chew” on that passage, just like Adi, to get the full meaning that the Lord wants to impart to us. Thanks for the gentle nudge….

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    1. Pat, you nailed it when you said “we too often just read a passage and think that we get it.” I am so guilty of doing just that and have been working to slow down, understand, and hear what the Lord is saying to me. Hope you are well!

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  3. Wonderful post, I find my self staying in the book of Genesis. I have read this over and over, especially the first 5. Every time I read it, more and more becomes clear to me. And it is the basis for life, the purpose of creation. Each thing we see has a meaning as to why it is here. He brought forth. Nature, creation, we have a purpose.

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    1. Thank you Sandra! Your pictures capture the beauty, truth, and wonder of the first chapter of Genesis. With your words and pictures you clearly illuminate the verses “God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness” and “God saw that it was good.” Thank you for faithfully giving your readers the opportunity to stand in awe of our Father’s creation.

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