My kids are hungry – A LOT. In fact, I think they’d be thrilled at the prospect of me staying in the kitchen all day aspiring to be the next Pioneer Woman.
Pioneer Woman’s kids have it made. Think about it. They have the Food Network’s test kitchen in their house every day! A teenagers’ dream.
But I’m not Pioneer Woman. I have a job, things to do, errands to run.
You probably do, too.
When my kids were younger, it was essential for me to feed them several times every day. If I didn’t feed them, they didn’t eat. If they didn’t eat, they wouldn’t grow and become healthy.
Now they’re getting older and it’s important for them to learn to feed themselves because I can’t accompany them to college to pour their milk and cut their meat.
I’ve been feeding them their whole life – they’ve come to expect it. They desire it. So when they don’t see me in the kitchen by 5:30pm, a look of dread melts across their faces. Their eyes become glassy and the color begins to drain from their faces.
Eventually, one of the kids will sheepishly ask, “Mom, are you going to cook dinner tonight?”
And if I reply, “Nope. It’s YOYO night!” their response usually resembles, “UGH! Not YOYO night!” (Insert gigantic sigh with the dramatic tossing back of their head.)
Because in our house, YOYO night means, “You’re On Your Own.”
In other words, I’m not cookin’.
AKA, Feed Yourself.
For the kids, this usually means throwing something from the freezer into the microwave or cracking open a can of soup. If they’re feeling particularly ambitious, they may pull out the toaster.
But by their reaction of despair, you would think I was asking them to kill and prepare the fatted calf from the family farm! (No, we don’t live on a farm and no, we don’t have any fatted calves. Just the occasional feral chicken, but I digress.)
They don’t want to do the work of getting their food. They want me to feed them.
As Christ followers, I think sometimes we have a similar approach regarding our relationship with God.
We love it when our pastors, books and small group leaders feed us. And they do. And they will.
But they can’t be the primary source of our spiritual food.
Your church, your small group, your friends have an important part to play in your spiritual growth. They build into your life, but they can’t be the sole caretakers of your spiritual life.
You have to do that. You have to take responsibility for your spiritual growth.
Eating a great meal once or twice a week might keep you alive, but you won’t flourish. You won’t be strong. You won’t grow very big.
In Jeremiah 17, the prophet Jeremiah tells of a tree that was planted by the riverbank.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
The tree was intentionally planted by a water source.
The tree did the hard work of digging its roots down deep.
The tree never failed to bear fruit, even in times of heat and drought.
The tree wasn’t looking for someone to water it. The tree took responsibility for its own health and growth.
The Bible is the power of God. It has the power to transform your life. It has the power to cause your life to flourish even under adverse circumstances. You have to plant yourself by this healthy water source and do the hard work of digging your roots down deep.
When you’re physically hungry, you go to the kitchen for food. When you’re spiritually hungry, you go to God’s Word. (Not Netflix or social media) 🙂
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen from a distance. It happens as you dig your roots down deep.
Dear friend, feast on the abundance of God’s Word. It’s rich, fully satisfying and will never leave you wanting.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water… 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you… 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63:1, 3, 5
What would your life look like if you gave God the first of your day? Your time? Your thoughts? Before you looked at your phone to check for messages, you paused and gave the day to him and said, “Thank you.”