But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:3
One of the things I enjoyed was sitting on the beach watching the waves. I was also entertained by the many types of birds we saw, especially in the morning and evening. Each type had its own way of foraging for food, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels between my own spiritual life and their quest for a meal.
The smallest birds were the quick sandpipers that ran along the shoreline. They appeared to almost be playing tag with the waves, alternately chasing and being chased, as they darted here and there in search of food. Getting fed seemed much more of a game than a serious quest, hence their tiny size.
The most aggressive were the seagulls. They’d approach anyone they thought had food and we saw several instances where they dove at unsuspecting beach goers, mistaking silver hair for food. They were indiscriminate in what they ingested, carrion or fresh meat was equally appealing to these bullies. They were a scruffy bunch and I noticed the rest of the animal kingdom kept well out of their way.
The largest winged creatures were the pelicans. These majestic birds tended to stay further out from shore and found hearty prey under the sea. I was fascinated by their varied flight path, moving from grazing the tops of the water with their wings to spot their targeted meals, to a steep dive that took them completely out of sight under the water.
As my mind wandered to spiritual application I couldn’t help notice the largest and strongest birds were the ones who were willing to dive deep for the choicest food. The most delicate were those who waited on the banks for whatever tidbit was deposited within reach, while the bullies were shunned by all.
How like us they all were! I hate to admit how I could see myself in every group. I’ve lived (or tried to live) like those tiny sandpipers, living off crumbs—from books about God—instead of going to the Bible itself. I’ve also chased after many kinds of unhealthy theology, thinking being full was enough. And lately, I’ve learned to spend time in the Word, diving in and going deep. There I’ve found the abundance of what I need to live in strength and health.