As we children grew, Mom didn’t only teach us more of God’s Word through Scripture memorization and the Bible stories she read us each evening; she lived her faith and applied the lessons she taught us. Many of my early memories are of her explaining some spiritual principle related to our everyday experiences.
I can also still clearly picture her early every morning, reading the Bible or another devotional book. Sometimes one or another of us would question why she read from God’s Word each day instead of doing other seemingly more exciting things, and she would always answer with more or less the same reply. “You may not understand now, but when you grow up, you’ll see that you can’t live without it. If I don’t have my time with the Lord every morning, I can barely get through the day.” No, I didn’t understand. I found other things more interesting and exciting. Still, each morning without fail, Mom would help us memorize bits from the Bible and read to us from children’s devotional books. As we grew older, she encouraged us to read and study the Bible on our own.
Eventually I moved away from home, and I have since married and started a family of my own. When our daughter Jessica was a baby, she loved to nurse. When she began teething and was having quite a hard time, sometimes nursing was the only thing that would soothe her. As I nursed her one night, 1 Peter 2:2 came to my mind once again: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” The milk was my daughter’s sustenance; it was what gave her the nourishment she needed to live and grow. But that wasn’t all it was. It was also a source of comfort when nothing else would console her.
As an adult, I have come to understand just how important God’s Word is. It has given me answers when all I had were questions. It has given me strength when I felt weak and weary in spirit. It has shown me the way to go. And in times of hardship it has been a greater comfort to me than any friend could be, because Jesus’ eternal, unfailing love shines through it.
Thank you, Mom, for instilling in me this truth. I understand now. God’s Word is what keeps us alive and growing spiritually. It feeds our souls and brings us security and comfort, and it helps us grow in faith and the knowledge that His enduring love, like that of a parent, will never fail or fade. I have Jesus, my mother, and my daughter Jessica to thank for driving this lesson home.
Now my hope is to nurture in my own children the same love for God and dependency on Him and His Word that my mother instilled in me. They, too, will be grown one day. When they are, I want them to know that God's Word will always be there for them when they need it most.
* * *
Do you feed your body but starve your soul? Don’t be like the man in the Bible who stuffed his barns full of grain, only to have God say to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?”1
Having a full stomach and a full purse and a full head cannot give you a full heart. If you put the desires of the flesh above the needs of your spirit, then you will find that nothing ever satisfies. You will be like the man who despaired, “I have drunk of every cup of pleasure and every goblet of excess; I have indulged myself in all the charms and delicacies of the world, and yet I die of hunger.”
Just like you have to eat in order to have physical strength, you have to feed from the Word to have spiritual strength. You’ve got to feed your soul or you will never fully develop or mature spiritually. And if you really want to grow in spirit, you will feed from the Word every day!—David Brandt Berg
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.—2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
1. Luke 12:20 NLT