Barrels On Stilts

Sunday, December 13, 2009
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Proverbs 6:6-8 – Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (NIV)

Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (NIV)

As I stood gazing out the front window watching the goats, I couldn't believe how fat they had become. The three of them looked like barrels on stilts with their huge rounded bellies and stick-like legs. Lucy was so stout that her stomach swung from side to side as she ambled over to the feed box to stick her nose in yet once again.

According to my daughter, who raises these animals, as well as the Guide on Goats, they are supposed to look like this as we go forward into the winter season. They instinctively know that there will be long, cold, hard days ahead, and this extra bulk will see them safely through until the sunshine and warmth of spring's return.

Watching the goats this Advent season has reminded me of the importance of growing fat on God's Word. God's people waited and watched for a very long time for the Saviour's first appearance. Amidst that period, times were often difficult, hard — even cruel — for His own. The faithful, however, were sustained, as they rested in and on the promises of Scripture. Those who were fat in the Word survived the harshness of lean times.

Likewise, this Advent, as we celebrate looking back to the manger yet also ahead to the second coming of Emmanuel, God with us, let us not forget the wisdom found both in the goats and in today's Scripture about the ants. Christ is coming again. What hard times may lay ahead for His people before that day we are not privileged to know. Most of us, however, do have the freedom and privilege to know His Word. Each of us, through reading and memorization, can become fat on faith through His promises and truth — fodder which will see us safely through any lean times yet ahead as we await the sunshine and warmth of Christ's second coming.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that we can count on Your Word at all times. Thank You, Lord, that we have opportunity to study and memorize Scripture. Motivate us this day, Jesus, to chow down on Your precepts, that we might indeed be fat upon Your Word through lean times. Amen.

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Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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