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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"Where's the Beef?"
Date Posted: January 24, 2004

Many of you are too young to remember the fast food commercial with the old ladies who come in to order burgers and find that the meat is a microscopic dot on the bun. One woman gets in the server's face and says, "Where's the beef?" It became a kind of catch phrase for many years.

It's a question my husband will ask if he can't identify a portion of meat with each meal. (Although he'll settle for pork or chicken.) There are others, like my husband, who think a Caesar salad is a snack and wouldn't recognize tofu if it was wrapped around the TV remote. We call them "meat and potato" kind of guys. In retail the products which sell consistently are described as the "meat and potatoes" of the business.

Depending on the current diet craze, people are eating or not eating meat en masse. But we know that our bodies need vitamins and protein, found abundantly in meat, on a regular basis and we need to partake of them to grow and remain healthy.

Spiritually, God has designed us the same way. We need to feed spiritually as often and as much as we do physically. Unless we are ill or fasting (or have small children who run us in circles), most of us do not deny our bodies food for even an entire day.

But I must admit I can think of many days when I have gone without much, if any, spiritual food, through study in the Word, prayer and fellowship. We are told in Acts 2:42 how the early church was "spiritually fed", "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

It seems natural we would want to grow in Christ, in our knowledge of the Word and in our capacity to serve the Lord and others. Yet some days it seems so hard to work in even a few minutes of scripture study when the kids need help with homework, the laundry has piled up from the weekend and supper is definitely not cooking itself!

A specific time set aside for this each day is great, but depending on work schedules and family situations, may not always get accomplished. On days like this, I ask God to give me a lesson from something I have previously read, or a scripture that has been stuck in my head. (Maybe it's not just stuck there. Maybe it was planted there for a reason!)

God wants us to grow in Him. He is there to lift us up and help us along. He understands we are human and things can get crazy, but there are so many places to turn for encouragement, that if we have committed in our hearts to grow spiritually and seek His will for us, He will provide us with the nourishment we need.

In Hebrews the early Christians are warned against falling away, " . . .you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." -- Hebrews 5:11-14

Do we want to survive physically on only milk? Probably not. Why would we settle for less spiritually when it is so necessary? God wants us to crave the knowledge and understanding of His word. He has provided so many resources for us.

We have technology that allows us to fellowship with others instantly or read inspirational thoughts (at sites like studylight.org). There are bible studies we can use on our own with workbooks or audio versions; group bible studies in most congregations or communities; Christian radio with uplifting music and wonderful lessons from well-known speakers, and all the important things the early church did (listed above).

Take 10 minutes each day this week to pray about how you need to grow, then write down a plan of action and be accountable to someone for sticking with it long term!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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