A steady stream


Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:4)

I love stream fishing because that running water helps me actually have a good time getting the fish on my line. They hide away under rocks, fallen tree limbs, and branches along the shoreline. I have to 'float' that bait just right to get the trout to see it, be enticed by it, and then take hold of it. I wonder if God's Word is a bit like 'stream fishing' where he "floats" the Word just right and we eventually see it, are enticed by what is offered, then finally take hold of it. The stream of God's Word flows constantly, but the one who gets hold of what God offers within that 'stream' will indeed find themselves 'captivated' by what he offers.

More than bread alone - more than tidbits that are quickly taken, easily digested, and used up as quickly as they are taken. Is it possible God intends for us to look for more than 'bread' - maybe even find a bit of 'meat' in the seeking? Meat might be harder to ingest and digest, but it lasts a lot longer than bread, doesn't it? It provides energy to our physical body longer - because the digestive process takes longer. I think God may plan an entire meal for us when we come to partake of his Word each day, but many times, we settle for bread (the quick fix) and then walk away without anything to really sustain us for the long haul of the day.

God's Word is to be taken in as a steady stream - not a hit or miss commitment to take it in. Meat isn't always going to be served first, but if we stick around long enough, God brings the meat along with the bread. The meat may be harder to 'chew upon', but it is in the 'chewing upon' that we find the deepest and most meaningful truths. God 'floats' a lot of good stuff our way, some hitting the mark, others just passing us by unnoticed. Why is that? Why don't we see it all as he presents it? I guess we may not always be 'positioned right' to see all he offers. The fish in the stream doesn't always have his mouth positioned toward the bait I float his way. In fact, I often see nothing more than a tail!

What is the position we must place ourselves in if we are not to miss the things he sends our way in that stream of life within his Word? If we want to get both bread and meat from his Word, we need to dine long enough, with a hunger that goes deeper than a 'quick intake'. It will cost us a bit of time, and perhaps a bit of contemplation, such as when we take the time to look up a word or two. Grasping what God sends our way in his Word isn't hard - it just requires us to be positioned to receive it. Heart open, conscious clear, ears attentive, eyes eager to discover - and a will that is intent on 'sitting still in the stream' until he provides. It is this 'sitting still' that is hardest for us. We want instant - God wants constant. Just sayin!

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