I was listening to a podcast a few days ago on my way home from work on the concept behind the Hebrew word chochmah (seriously, is there anything The Bible Project guys don’t do?) and they mentioned a verse from the book of Proverbs. Here is it:
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
When they brought it up I knew right away that this was something that my daughter would enjoy… she being slightly obsessed with the farm lifestyle right now… and I knew that it was something that would make sense to my middle school like mind… because the proverb has to do with poop.
The idea is, when you don’t have any animals, your barns are clean (no poop to clean up), but it is with the strength of the animals that you get enough food to eat. So you need to do the things you need to do when you need to do them (take care of animals), so that you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them (have enough food at the end of the year). Do your chores so that you can read. Pick up the mess so that you can do another craft. Take a bath so that we can cuddle before bed. Write your blog post so that you can go to sleep. Do what you need to do when you need to do it, so that you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.
And the idea related perfectly to the Gospel. Follow and submit to the Lordship of Christ (which has all kinds of activities we need to do on a daily basis), so that God can grow good fruit in our lives. Pretty amazing to find the gospel in a verse that on the surface is about animal husbandry.
And so, I brought the verse up as we were getting ready for our days. (It was in the moment when someone was distracted by a book and not brushing their teeth… but that is another story.) And, lo and behold, the verse struck a chord that made sense! The thing that I thought was incredibly special was seeing how she could use her knowledge of how a farm worked to work through what the Bible was saying about responsibility and how our actions have effects on life. (And I got to talk to my daughter about poop in the Bible… so that is always a win!)
We got to talk through some big ideas using concepts that we both enjoy. I am pretty sure that the Bible speaks in the heart language of every single person in our church, but it may take a little digging to find the verses that speak to you. Reading the Bible, listening to podcasts, reading commentaries, and studying God’s Word don’t always yield new revelations about who God is and what He has done and thus who I am in light of what He has done. Instead there are many times that I spend time with God and cannot see any immediate benefits in my life. It is in those times when I trust that a verse is coming, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, that is going to knock it out of the park, speaking to my heart and it can be something that speaks to the heart of someone else I love. I need to press on, and allow more of God’s Word to rest in my heart so that when the moment comes, the Holy Spirit can use it to encourage me to continue to call Jesus my Savior and Lord.