I recently made a trip to Philadelphia for a family reunion. On the flight out, I sat next to a lady who told me she was a nutritionist for a large hospital in Atlanta. I don’t usually talk to the folks I sit next to on flights, and that’s mostly because I really covet the uninterrupted time to read. But I always try to be polite, so in response to her comment about work, I made a joke about not eating like I should, then picked up my book in expectation of the conversation being over.
However, my seat mate wasn’t quite done - and she responded to my offhanded comment by saying that it's not only what I eat, but how I eat it. And for the remainder of the flight, I listened to a detailed explanation of how our saliva contains special enzymes that aid in digestion, and if we swallow before we have chewed our food enough, the enzymes don't mix with our food, and that keeps our bodies from getting the full benefit of what we eat.
As we landed, I thanked her for the information, and then headed to my next flight. As I settled in to my new seat, I made a point of not talking to the person next to me - instead, I pulled out my Bible to do some reading. But as I did so, it occurred to me that what that nutritionist had said about eating could also be applied to reading God's Word. Here’s what I mean - if we read the Bible regularly, but don't take our time to “chew it well”, we don't get the full benefit of it. But if we take our time with it, pondering its meaning for us, we will begin to receive a far greater benefit from it, because it will be able to nourish us, and teach us, and reveal God to us - just like it was designed to do.
Hebrews 4:12 puts it like this: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Reading AND meditating on God's word is something we need to be doing each and every day, because when we are well-fed on God’s Word, we will be nourished and ready to serve Him - no matter what the day brings us.
So today, let’s ask God to give us the desire to not only read His Word, but to take the time to savor, chew, and begin the process of digesting it as well.