The Importance of Nourishment

I think it is fair to say that most of us have an appetite throughout the day. Granted, some want to eat nearly every hour, whereas others might only be hungry a couple of times a day. The point is, a healthy body needs to be taking in nutrients. If a person has no desire for food and will not eat, then something is probably wrong.

Many of us have experienced being sick and having no appetite. How many of us have experienced similar discussions during such times?

“Do you want some soup? How about some juice?”

“No thank you. I’m not hungry.”

“You haven’t eaten anything all day. How about a piece of toast and a cup of broth?”

“Okay.”

An hour later a piece of toast with a bite or two missing is sitting on a plate, and next to it is a cold cup of broth.

Something similar happens with the spiritual part of our beings. When our souls are healthy, we should maintain an appetite for God’s Word. Peter writes:

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. ~ 1 Peter 2:2-3

Another writer notes that a healthy, mature believer should be eating “solid food” not mere milk of elementary teachings.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. ~ Hebrews 5:12-13

My wife could tell something was wrong with me when I was going deeper into depression. You see, I enjoyed reading and discussing God’s Word. I enjoyed, and excelled in, my studies in Bible college and Seminary. However, she noticed more and more I was disengaging in discussions of the Bible. Less and less I wanted to go to church or Bible studies. I did not want to pray. I did not want to do much of anything, really.

Whenever I did try to read, my mind seemed to go in multiple directions. I could not concentrate. What I did try to do each morning before leaving for work was still have my devotional times. However, I would simply read a verse or two, and the accompanying devotional. For me, this was sort of the equivalent of taking in some toast and juice. Ideally, it is preferable to be in a more healthy position to take in more spiritual nutrition, however.

Perhaps you are in a season where you are not “hungry” for the Word, as you had been. This does show something is wrong, spiritually: anxiety, depression, busyness, burnout, sin, or something else. I want to encourage you to remember the importance of nourishment. Certainly whole servings of fruit and vegetables is better for your body than mere sips of orange juice and broth. However, juice and broth are better than nothing at all. So too, digging into the Word is better than simply reading a verse and devotional. However, these are still better than no nourishment at all.

As you read, especially if your mind is going in different directions, do not try to know every part. Pay attention to key words, phrases, promises, or aspects of God’s character. Simply try to think about these periodically throughout the day. God will use these to nourish your soul back to better health.

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