Grandma and Grandad lived on a farm, and when visiting them, beautiful memories were stored away to reflect upon often. They owned cattle, Herefords to be exact. Grandad fed them in winter, pastured them in summer, and milked the milk cow. Receiving a stream of warm milk right from the cow became a fond memory. Cows rested in the pasture on a beautiful day, but their mouth was chewing away. There are lessons to be learned from that, and the Bible speaks directly to a spiritual activity that involves mentally chewing. It is called meditation. Let’s take a few moments to reflect on three lessons from a cow chewing the cud. These truths are gleaned from cows eating, chewing and resting. The victorious Christian life will include the spiritual equivalent of those three things.
The growing spiritual life will feed on the Word of God, the Bible. Reading God’s Word allows learning what God wants individuals to know. Growing in our knowledge of God happens during Bible reading. The Bible is to the spirit is like nutritious green grass is to cows in the pasture. Just as a cow brings up the cud and chews to get more nutrients, the living spiritual life will reflect on and spiritually “chew” on God’s thoughts that were read or studied. Memorizing Scripture verses also allows the mind to reflect on God’s truth.
David recorded the benefit of pondering and reflecting on Scripture in Psalm 1:3, where the psalmist says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (NLT). That happy result is a direct benefit to meditating on Scripture. “But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night” (Psalm 1:2 NLT). The wilderness in Israel, where David spent much of his time, had not much water causing barrenness. Trees in that wilderness showed their lack of water. No doubt, David saw the difference between a tree in the wilderness isolated from water and a tree next to a stream. As a shepherd, David had to know the whereabouts of the best places for water for sheep as he took care of them in wilderness conditions. David reflected on God and life while caring for his flock in the wilderness. Sometimes, life can be like that dry wilderness, and we long for refreshment on our journey. God promises a satisfied, refreshed heart to all those who are willing to reflect on His Word in traveling life’s pathways.
Finally, cows rest. In the Christian life, the activity of reading God’s Word, taking time to reflect on God’s Word, then relying on God for our lives leads to rest. In our wilderness of life, filled with its troubles, rest is a result of trust. The words of Psalm 23:2 say, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams” (NLT). That beautifully pictures those who trust the Lord, follow his lead, and allow him to provide for all their needs.