I have beautiful journals to write in, a 4” high stack of index cards with quotes and blog starters, and of course, notebook after notebook half filled with projects. But, like most writers, I have a file of “scraps.” There are funny stories about the grandchildren hastily scribbled on paper torn out of a notebook, ideas on napkins, partial pages of magazine articles that “spoke” to me, and sticky notes with ideas scribbled in the dark when I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been “weeding out” this week, and laughed out loud at some of the “scraps,” shed heart tears over others and re-sparked some new ideas.
One tablet scrap had Ethan’s (my oldest grandson) name at the top. It said: You stuck a candle in the dirt, sang Happy Birthday, then told Auntie, “Cake.” Auntie, afraid you would eat the dirt said, “Dirt.” You agreed, “Dirt cake."
I thought of the times God told me something was dirt, yet I insisted it was cake. The friendships I wanted, the perfections I pursued, the earthly acclaim, the grass on the other side of the fence.
Each time I ate my dirt cake, the words of the Psalmist were reflected in my own heart. So he gave them their demands but sent them leanness in their souls (Psalm 106:5). The friendship turned toxic, the sought after perfections made me lose sight of the goal, the earthly acclaim was soon over, and the green grass withered and died. My soul didn’t flourish, truth died, and God seemed far away.
In my lean times, I have found there’s only one way to soul nutrition. It’s changing your diet. Leave the dirt behind and ask God to forgive you. Then delve deep into the Word of God. This God-breathed Scripture will kill your desire for dirt cakes. We can say, Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me (Jeremiah 15:16).
5 Ways to Feed on the Word
1. Scripture Writing: Choose a book of the Bible to copy. I’ve read/listened to the Bible through many times and I’ve memorized it from childhood. I’ve found writing the Scripture helps me concentrate in a new way.
2. Scripture Study: What does the Bible say about grace? If you do a Google search on “Bible Study Grace” you will come up with over nine million places to study grace. Read and copy the Scriptures, see how others experience grace, and answer the hard questions of “How did I stray from grace?” “Am I holding on to the ‘dirt?’” “Am I willing to ask for grace—again?”
3. Scripture Color: Become a part of the color epidemic. Choose a book with Scripture as its base like The Word in Color by Christian Art Publishers. The calming effect of coloring will push the truth of Scripture into your mind and heart.
4. Scripture Singing: Many Scripture verses have been put to music. David’s “The Lord is my shepherd, I’ll walk with Him always…” Micah’s “He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” or Ethan the Ezrahite’s “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever…”
5. Scripture Praying: I highly recommend Stormie Omartian’s books on prayer. Praying God’s Word into Your Life or The Power of Praying Through the Bible is a good place to begin. Prayer starters – God, you promised… God, you warned… God, you showed me…
Ethan is thirteen now. We don’t have to worry about him eating dirt. This year he asked for fried ice cream on his birthday.
Don’t eat dirt, even if you call it cake. Paul affirms Timothy’s nourishment of Scripture in 1 Timothy 4:6: If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.