Something to Chew On
Bible Reading: Psalm 1:1-6
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2, NIV
You butter your toast. You peel a string of gooey pizza cheese off your chin. You gulp milk straight out of the carton. But answer this: Do you ever think about the brave, generous cow who provided the raw material for all this good stuff? Do you properly appreciate the time-consuming process old Bessie went through?
Here are some interesting facts about how dairy products make it from moo to you: When Bessie eats grass or hay, she chews her food just enough to swallow it just like you do when you’re in a hurry. That blob of soggy grass travels into the first two of her four stomachs. The larger stomach holds almost fifty gallons of food. When Bessie is full, she rests, but the four-stage milk factory inside her keeps working. Undigested food from the stomachs, called cud, burps back up into the cow’s mouth for her to chew again.
When Bessie swallows the cud, it passes into stomachs three and four, where some of it is digested to nourish the cow. The rest is transformed into the makings for butter, cheese, eggnog, ice cream, and all that good stuff.
Bessie’s digestion is so important to her that she spends a third of her entire life chewing cud. This process is called ruminating.
God designed you to be a “ruminant.” He made you to “ruminate” on his Word. When you spend time in Scripture, you fill your mind with God’s truth, turning it over in your thoughts and “chewing” on it. That’s the kind of “rumination” or “meditation” on the law of the Lord that David urged (see Psalm 1:2). When you thought fully mull Scripture in this way, God will make your life fruitful (see Psalm 1:3).
Meditating on Scripture can be simple. Let’s use Psalm 23:1 for now: “The Lord is my shepherd.” Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, maybe in your room at bedtime. Read or recite the verse several times, emphasizing a different word each time. As you do, take time to think about the word you have emphasized and its meaning to you. It might sound something like this:
” ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ The God who sent Christ to die for me is my shepherd. ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ He’s my shepherd right now. ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ He is interested in me personally. ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ A shepherd feeds and protects his sheep, and that’s what God does for me.”
Don’t hurry through it. Like Bessie, allow plenty of time to “chew on” each word. As you do, talk to God about what you are thinking. Let God’s Word grow in your heart, and you will grow and be fruitful.
REFLECT: Try meditating and praying through a verse of Scripture right now.
PRAY: Tell God what you thought of that experience—and ask him to teach you how to meditate on his Word.
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