Last fall while Gary and I travelled, Grace stayed at A Dog’s Word, a local dog kennel. While there, they discovered that Grace liked to eat the rocks in the play yard. I’m not sure if they tasted good to her tongue, or if she was bored, but nonetheless, she swallowed quite a few. After we picked her up, over the next week, we counted 21 rocks pass through her system. Ugh! We thanked God that although the rocks ranged from the size of a quarter to the size of a dime, none of them became stuck in her system. That was the grace of God!

Since then, we watch her carefully at home and she seems uninterested in these minerals of the earth. Whenever Grace stays at A Dog’s World, those who work there, supervise her when she plays outside with the other dogs. For a while, Grace even spent the days with the onsite groomer, “overseeing” his activities at A Dog’s World 🤪, so that she escaped the temptation to eat rocks.

For the last few months Grace has done well; until yesterday 😟. Rocks were found in Grace’s mouth. She sneakily dug at them and gulped them down. Rocks!

Rocks – a hard, solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth. Not meant for consumption. Metaphorically, things we consume that do not nourish the soul.

Rocks?! I wonder, do I eat “rocks?” in any way? My first thought: “No, that would be weird; who would eat rocks?” But, then…I consider…really…What “rocks” do I eat? What about you? I don’t refer to the literal hard granite spheres we see on the ground, but a different kind of “rock,” one that carries the potential of hardening our souls to the love of God.

I reflect on those things we consume that fail to nourish the soul. Consider with me those activities and habits that we consume with our eyes, ears, minds, hands, feet, and hearts that might possibly become stuck in our interior system. Perhaps like Grace, we live unaware of the dangers that lurk as we take in unhealthy and unnecessary attitudes and actions.

The rocks Grace eats might symbolize a variety of things for us today. Watching TV, the news, videos, and movies have the potential of promoting attitudes contrary to God’s ways. We might be exposed to alternative perspectives that offer invitations to become proud, selfish, fearful, gluttonus, angry, hateful, licentious, and greedy.

Reflect on what you consume with your eyes. How do these things impact the way you think, feel, and act?

Other not-for-consumption “rocks” taken in through podcasts, music, and apps might encourage thoughts of death, destruction, unfaithfulness, vulgarity, hubris, materialism, and contempt.

Notice what you listen to. In what ways do your ears take in thoughts and attitudes that distract you from walking in the ways of the Lord?

What about the places we go? Could some of the restaurants, events, and locations we frequent actually act as “rocks” desensitizing our minds and hearts to the things of God? For a time Grace needed to be in a different location at A Dog’s World so that the rocks of the play yard did not tempt her. Is it time to switch up eateries and experiences to protect you from potential “rocks?”

By God’s grace, most of these “rocks” pass through our systems, but what about the ones that get lodged within, slowly making us sick.

Let’s slow down and ask God to reveal to us the “rocks” we consume and ask for His help to spit them out and take in what is best for our living with Him and others.

Although I speak metaphorically here, I can’t help but wonder about what I consume with my eyes, ears, mind, heart, and hands and wonder where “rocks” exists that make my soul ill. 

What might be some of the “rocks” obstructing your spiritual journey with God? Will you wonder about any “rocks” in your system?

Jesus modeled a way to address the temptation of the “rocks” in life. In Matthew 4:4, He encouraged each of us to take in the Word of God; to consume the Truths of God. These Truths help us stand on the Rock that truly matters and lead us away from consuming the rocks that get stuck in our systems causing inner sickness.

Take a moment and wonder about the “rocks” you consume. Take note of even those that “appear” benign and harmless. Talk with God about the dangers of the attitudes and actions cultivated by these rocks.

I’ll be watching Grace for the next few days, praying the rocks in her system pass through and don’t become lodged with her. Join me and follow God’s invitation to spit the rocks out and stand on the Rock of our salvation in Truth.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Matthew 4:4 –  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Psalm 40:2-3 – He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Leighton Ford. The Attentive Life: Discerning God’s Presence in All Things. Downers Grove, IL. 2014.

Denita Johnson. Devotional Be Careful Little Eyes What You See. 2021.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Bright City. Rock of Our Salvation.

I Am They. My Feet Are On The Rock.

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

February 9 – Breathe Retreat – Littleton, CO

February 21-March 5 – Australia with Gary, on behalf of GTP

March 18-April 5 Lviv, Ukraine – teaching course on soul care at Ukraine Baptist Theological Seminary