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
I’m fortunate to have already spent a lot of time at the beach this year. Although most of the time has been spent working, I did manage to take some long, morning walks on the beach. I was fascinated by the many types of birds I saw. Each one 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.
Next were the obnoxious seagulls. They were bullies, aggravating the smaller birds, and even us, if we had something they thought they wanted. And they’d even drop a morsel of food if they thought something better was available. They’d eat anything they could find., regardless of its condition. And if you looked at them up close the fact didn’t surprise you. They were unkempt, straggly looking birds.
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, often being so intent on following the crowd that I dropped something good for me to get something with no value at all. All the time thinking being full was enough.
But in the past few years I’ve learned to spend time in the God’s Word, diving in and going deep. There I’ve found the abundance of what I need to live in strength and health.
So where are you in the quest of spiritual nourishment? It’s something to think about.