“She’s the classic snacker,” the head nurse declared.
Anyone who’s nursed a child knows there can be myriad problems. Though I’d successfully nursed my six other kids, this last little one had me stumped. She seemed to nurse well. Her latch was good and I was comfortable. And Goodness knows out of sheer hunger, worry and exhaustion I was eating enough calories for both of us.
For months, I’d been on a ‘round the clock effort to feed her as I nursed, made bottles to supplement, pumped through the night and scoured the net for answers.
But she kept losing weight.
One consultation showed she’d taken in only a half ounce after nursing for 30 minutes. At the next consultation, she fell so fast asleep that no amount of undressing, bouncing or foot thumping would wake her.
She was failing to thrive.
So when the head nurse popped in at one consult and immediately surmised that Annalise was “the classic snacker” we at least had a diagnosis. “She gets just enough into her tummy and then falls asleep,” the nurse explained.
But never enough for real growth. Never enough to thrive.
We can fail to spiritually thrive too.
This week, in 100 Days with Christ, we read the parable of the sower. Jesus told this story, recorded in three gospels, about a farmer who went out to sow his seed. Some fell along the path, where it was trampled and birds ate it. Some fell on rocky soil and grew quickly but then withered. Some fell among thorns that grew alongside the plants and eventually choked it out. But some fell on good soil, producing an abundant crop.
Then Jesus explained the parable. The seed is the Word of God and the ground is our heart. The seed that falls along the path is the shut mind who hears the word but refuses it. The rocky ground is shallow and is the one who receives the word but falls away when testing or persecution comes. The thorny ground is the one who lets this world crowd God out.
But the good soil. The good soil is the one who hears the word – like all the others – but then holds fast to it and perseveres.
All hear the Word. Only one produces fruit – the seed on good soil.
The others fail to thrive.
What is the condition of our heart? Is it tilled and prepared and ready not just to hear but to hold fast? Are we prepared to ruthlessly root out the things of this world that would choke our growth? Will we persevere through the hard and cling to the faithfulness of God?
Just like my little classic snacker, we can fail to spiritually thrive.
- We can snack on the Word but never devour enough for real growth.
- We can take it in bits and bites – just enough to make us feel good, and then fall asleep to the depths God has for us.
- We can take the parts we like and leave the parts we don’t so that we never really change and mature.
- We can get more of the world than the Word and never produce fruit.
As for little Annalise, the good news is that after weeks (and weeks) of perseverance, she learned to nurse well. In fact, she took off. She nursed longer than any of my others and today she’s ironically one of my most adventurous eaters.
That can be us. Let’s not just snack on the Word and walk away with one ounce less than what God has for us. Let’s read and ask God to plant it deep.
Your turn. What is God teaching you? What did you learn in your 100 Days with Christ study this week? Please share in the comments!
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