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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Throw me another bone, please!

I haven't had a dog in years now, but I remember the extreme joy and passion my pooch would exhibit whenever I brought home a bone for her.  She'd waggle every part of her hind quarters and tail, almost trembling in delight over the promised ecstasy of the treat.  For hours, she'd gnaw away at that treat, savoring each and every morsel.  In short order, the bone would be picked clean of any sign of grizzle, remaining meat, and even sometimes much of the bone itself would be chewed down.  I'd hear her working on that thing for hours - sometimes having to take it away from her at night just so we'd be able to get to sleep!  She'd always see where I'd put it up out of her reach, knowing full-well where to find it the next day.  There she'd be sitting as soon as I woke up - ready to take on the task of chewing on it again.  Such persistence and perseverance.  I wonder if we have this same kind of reaction to God's Word?

Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue.  His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins; his feet are as sure as a cat’s.  (Psalm 37:30-31 MSG)

Our psalmist points out this type of "tenacity" as being evident in a believer's consideration of the wisdom God provides and the integrity which is revealed in our speech.  We are to "chew on" wisdom like a dog takes on the bone.  What are some of the things I pointed out about my dog's encounter with the bone?  First - there was excitement which could barely be contained.  I wonder if we exhibit much excitement over the wisdom God brings into our lives?  Second - there was the "show" of interest in what was provided.  As she'd waggle her entire rear end, I knew she was going to take great delight in this treat.  I wonder if God sees any "show" of interest in what he provides on a daily basis in our lives.  The "treat" for my dog was occasional - God's "treats" are continual.  Third - her constant effort to "pick apart" the morsels of meat and grizzle left on that bone were evident in watching her turn it over and over, holding it close to her, sometimes changing positions so she'd get the right "grip" on it.  I wonder if we ever do that with God's truth in our lives - "repositioning" ourselves so we get a "better grip" on it.

We are also to "roll" virtue around on our tongue.  In other words, our speech is to reflect the integrity (uprightness) of the wisdom we have been taking in. I notices something after my dog had spent a few hours with her bone - her breath usually smelled better.  Why?  The turning over of the bone time and time again, and the constant chewing of the bone provided a cleansing effect for her teeth.  I think God's Word "rolled over our tongues" time and time again has a way of "cleaning up" what comes out of our mouths!  

Being a nurse, I really get the idea of blood coursing through the veins - steadily moving because of the "pumping power" of the heart itself.  Without the heart moving it, the blood becomes stagnant - it cannot come back to the place where it is "restored" and "revitalized".  You see, blood enters the heart and lungs to become re-oxygenated.  If it remained away from the heart and lungs, it would not carry much life.  As it passes through the liver and kidneys, it is "cleaned up" so it can go back to finding impurities, bringing them again to the "filtering stations" in the body, all the while assisting the body in keeping impurities from adversely building up.  Veins are like highways - they sometimes get "blockages".  If the veins are not well-maintained, these blockages can actually stop the flow of blood.  So, if we want to have a health "flow" of blood, we take care of the "highways".  I think we must pay as much attention to what "pumps" through our minds - the "spiritual and emotional" heart, so to speak.  If we don't allow God's word to permeate our minds, the "filters" we need to remove the impurities in our thoughts, words, and actions will not be there.  If we don't have a regular intake of his Word, the "highways" of our mind and spirit will soon become clogged with stuff just giving us "blockages" we cannot ignore forever.

I have also had cats.  Those amazing critters seem to be able to climb the walls and walk across some of the thinnest objects with the greatest of ease. Their tiny paws curving to grip the surface upon which they traverse.  Two things strike me about the cat - their ability to "bound" and their "balance".  They can be seen "bounding" straight up into the air, overcoming the space between them and their desired object.  The purpose of their "bound" is both to pursue and to attain.  They are eagerly "after" an object of their interest, or they are seeking a new vantage point.  Both are lessons we'd do well to learn.  Their ability to balance is also almost beyond our understanding - but if you know anything about cats, you know they have this amazing ability to "right" themselves even when they are falling.  There is a "tuning in" to where their head is in respect to their feet.  If their head is facing up, their feet will always be securely facing down!  

So, just some little trinkets to ponder today.  Let them muddle in your mind a while today and see if God can use any of them to speak to you.  In essence, as we study together, we are chewing on the Word like a dog chews on a bone!  Just sayin!