‘When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight’ – Jeremiah 15.16From Dave Atkinson:
When I was young, and lived at home, my mum frequently said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Before I could get out of the front door, I knew that she would ask “have you eaten?” and, if my answer was no, I wasn’t allowed to leave until I had!
It stuck with me though and now, not only is breakfast a constant discipline, it is also my favourite meal of the day…whenever possible a heaped combination of three or four different cereals!
Breakfast, and any food or drink, are obviously essential to keep us going through the day – to keep us alive physically. And yet being alive
, spiritually , is even more important – living in hope of the eternal life that Jesus has won for us.
Part of keeping alive spiritually is to be disciplined about reading, listening to and pondering God’s words – the Bible. In the verse above, Jeremiah paints an amazing picture of how precious, how vital, how “tasty”, God’s words are to him. You can imagine him putting the words into his mouth, chewing on them slowly to appreciate the full flavour before swallowing and beginning to benefit from the longer term sustenance that God’s words provide. He eats God’s words and they bring him joy and delight.
If you read through the book of Jeremiah, you’ll see that, frequently, the words that God gives Jeremiah are unpalatable to the society he prophesied to. God’s calling on his life rarely brought him joy and delight in the physical sense. His life was one of persecution and trial and lament. And yet, when those words came, he ate them, and they brought him joy and delight. Why? Because he knew God, and knew God’s words were truth and life.
My personal discipline is to read and chew on God’s words each morning. I’ve found that there is no better way to prepare for the day. When, for whatever reason, I don’t start that way, I can tell the difference in myself. Sometimes, I have a tendency to rush it, gulp it down, missing out on the full benefits that God wants me to be blessed with. Interestingly, I never rush my breakfast…there is a lesson for me there.
Although starting the day with God’s words is right for me, I recognise of course that it isn’t feasible for us all. The main thing is that you eat God’s words regularly – otherwise you miss out on the joy and heart’s delight that they offer.
Have you eaten?