“Milk” she said, handing me her sippy cup. She was thirsty again. Her curly head and smile caught me just right, again, and so I gave in to give her more of that most comforting drink. She crawled up into Grandma's lap, leaned back and drank the milk. Her eyes slowly flickered until she slipped away into a deep sleep.
Our granddaughter recently spent a week with us and we were happy to have her. While giving Mommy and Daddy a break, my wife and I took on the responsibility of guarding her and her welfare. My wife especially took on this task willingly and with a happy heart. Grandma loves her babies! The challenges for us to have a two year old in our house when we normally have a quiet house were a little tough. She would want to be held when it was inconvenient to do so. She wanted milk when she woke up at night. My wife, doing the best she could with interrupted sleep, would of course take care of her needs right away. She filled our house with laughter and the reminder that life is precious. To get a glimpse of the world through her eyes is an amazing experience. Trying to get her to eat was sometimes a challenge, especially when she was not feeling well. My wife's desire was for her to eat chicken or hamburger, something that would give her a little more protein. But there were times when all our granddaughter wanted was milk.
There are times when we may desire only milk as well. Rather than have some time to dig deeper into God's word, I settle for a quick verse of the day or a truth from a song that I like. These occasional encounters are not enough to sustain me for the day, but I like to think they do. At the first sign of trouble, I have forgotten what the verse of the day was. I lose my peace, my joy is stolen from me and there I am, lost in the cares of this world rather than being lost in my Savior's Love for me and the mind-blowing peace He offers. It causes me to wonder how God could Love and care for us as he does. To pick us up when we want to be held. To provide our every need when we seemingly cannot do much for ourselves. To give us milk when He would rather that we have meat. Certainly, there are times when milk is ok for us (1 Peter 2:2), but even then He wants us to cry out for more. As we grow from babes in Christ, we will find ourselves craving more of the Truths of His Word. Thus, we will not remain as babies or toddlers who only want milk.
The writer of Hebrews challenges us to walk in spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14). For those of us who have been born again for a while now, he says that we should be in a position to teach others the Word, but instead, I have found myself in recent years trying to learn the basics again. Knowledge is great, but when it is not put into practice, we suffer and wander around in immaturity as toddlers and infants. We lack the wisdom and discernment that He would want us to have and we can find ourselves defeated easily. Even though our Father expects us to be able to eat solid food, we settle for only milk. Milk is easier. It doesn't challenge us as meat does. It's easier to listen to the Word through music or come and listen to the preacher on Sunday and let him tell us what we need to know. The dust on our Bibles, signals that we do not crave Him as we should and we are missing out. My devotionals in the morning and a quick prayer as I exit the house, leave me no stronger or more prepared for the day than if I haven't spent time with my Gracious Father.
The challenges of life are challenging me to spend more time with Him. To get to know Him more deeply through His Word and come hungry when I do. He offers steak and we settle for the blandness of milk. The smell of roast awakens our senses and milk seems to have no savory smell at all. We should understand that the more we drink it, the more sour we can find ourselves inside. Hearing the same things over and over and not even seeking a greater message. Some of us have heard the Gospel so much, that it is no longer of any effect on us. This is because we have no hunger pangs for more than this. A routine of hearing a message that we feel no longer applies to us, yet have no desire to soak in another deeper message. Our ears do not want to hear the things that He would have us to hear, calling us to a more thirst-quenching walk with Him. But our Loving Father would have us develop our spiritual teeth. To bite down and chew on the deeper Truths of His words. To be challenged to live beyond where we are at right now. To have a goal of drawing so close to Him that the world will know that we belong to Him. To walk with Him and live our lives blameless before others. To make wise decisions that Honor Him. To obey Him without question and trust in His Unfailing Love. To become uncomfortable with being comfortable with our level of biblical knowledge and long for more. To learn new truths that will help us walk with Him and be able to stay in step. To allow the Holy Spirit to come in and wreck our lives and conform us more closely to the likeness of the One Son who bled and died for us. Knowing all of this, would we not do well to please our Father by desiring to become fully mature believers? As for me, I know that out of all of the goals I have, this is the one that matters most to me. My heart's cry is to say no to milk and yes to the meat of His Word that will lead me to greater growth in Him.