"Come and listen…and I will tell you what He did for me." Ps.66:16

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

Monday through Friday, I have the glamorous job of selling pet food for Nestle Purina. Love my job!  Love the flexibility that comes with my job and I really love my six weeks of vacation! And I love my spoiled puppies!

My job often requires overnight travel to exotic places like Wichita, KS, Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE. So I leave Sam and Charli at home to fend for themselves.  And yes, I have a doggie door so they can come and go as they need.  (Sometimes they actually make it outside … sometimes not so much! Don’t ask – just always know wiener dogs have to be the most-strong-willed-dogs EVER!)

As I prepared to travel out of town this week, I poured water and food into bowls – enough for three days, just in case I got delayed.  My kibble of choice is Purina’s Pro Plan brand – one of our shredded formulas.  Shredded as kibblesin it contains both “hard” and soft kibbles.  ( I’ve gotta get my plug in for Purina … best dog food on the market…all dog food manufacturers can’t claim that they feed seven out of seven of the Westminster group winners including Best in Show.) Buy Purina – I could use a raise! Okay, done with the plugging.

I returned home to find that not only had Sam and Charli eaten, they had eaten out of all three bowls.  The only problem being they had picked out the soft kibbles and left the “hard” kibbles behind.  So I combined the three partially eaten bowls into one and placed it back on the mat next to their water bowl in anticipation that they would return and eat the leftovers!

But not so much!  Later that night as I sat on the couch studying, Charli proceeds to go into the kitchen and begins rattling the kibbles around in the bowl.  A few seconds later she comes and stands in the doorway and whines which is her cue of letting me know that the bowl is empty.

I laid my Bible and study book down to go re-fill the bowl only to find it full of “hard” kibbles.  The spoiled heifer dog wanted me to add a new scoop of food containing more soft kibbles!  So after three or so re-plays of the whining, Charli finally surrendered and returned to eat the remaining “hard” kibbles.  (Donna – 3 points; Charli – 0 points!)  And I returned to my spot on the couch to resume studying.

As I picked up my Pure Growth study book, it fell open to a mid-way point; a spot in the book that I had supposedly moved past – a spot in the book where questions should have been answered – but I was seeing white space!  Like Charli and Sam, I had moved past the “hard” kibbles leaving them unanswered – uneaten!  And I’m ninety-nine percent sure whining was involved when I read the questions the first time around.

I was mimicking Charli’s behavior!  I was refusing to eat the “hard” kibbles God had laid out for me through Susan’s questions.  I was dining only on the “soft” kibbles.  I was choosing to answer the questions that I found easy to answer – questions that didn’t require extra energy or extra “heart power” to answer.

Unfortunately for me, this behavior also carries over to my quiet time – my time of reading God’s Word – my time of hearing God’s voice.  Anytime, I come across a “hard” truth – a truth I don’t want to practice or a truth that I find hard to understand, I sail through it to the next “soft” truth.

Just as the “hard” kibbles benefit Charli and Sam by controlling tarter build-up on their teeth, God’s “hard” truths provide tarter control for our hearts; “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)  God’s truth – the “hard” and the soft – is beneficial to our growth in Him.  As we saturate our hearts with His truth, we become more like Him.  As we feast on God’s Words – all of them – they provide nourishment for our growth and become preventative and protective care as we face our daily trials in life.

God’s word also tells us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8) How can we possibly see that the Lord is good when we skip over His hard truths – when we’re selective in the kibble that we want to eat?  How can we take refuge in Him when we’re not reading His Truth in its’ entirety? How can we receive God’s blessings in their entirety if we’re reading and digesting our hand-picked kibbles?

Father God, I thank You for Your truth – both the “hard” and soft kibble that you cho0se to feed us.  Give us the courage to taste the “hard” kibble – show us Your goodness in the “hard” spots.  Give me the tenacity to digest the “hard” along with the soft. Use all of Your words as a source of preventative and protective care for our hearts.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Comments on: "Tarter Control for the Heart" (25)

  1. Donna,
    Such a great post! And just to let you know you are not alone! I do the exact same thing! I only answer the questions that do not require a lot of work on my part. I very much related to this post. Thank you for taking the time to write this!

    Love and blessings!
    Kristen

  2. Donna…once again you have “hit it out of the park.” God is using you to get His message to us by using words that we can relate to. At least it does for me. Oh, I answer the questions, even the hard ones, but sometimes that is all I do…answer and move on. I have to be intentional about really digging into my answers to see where and what I need to work on. Thank you! You are a blessing!

  3. I needed this today, I truly did. Keep writing Donna because your encouragment goes a long way!!!!!!

  4. I can just see those winer dogs. I’m surprised it only took three tries before they went back and ate. There are still areas I am working on that go by the wayside more often than they should more so because I don’t get off my butt to do. Thanks so much for painting such a clear picture for me.

    Blessings,
    Catherine

  5. Deanne Garrison said:

    Truly enjoyed and benefited from this post. Great analogy. My dog is now on Beneful Healthy Weight, so I am a Purina customer. Praying I will always eat the hard kibbles along with the soft, comforting promises of God’s word.

  6. Fantastic post and it really hits home.

  7. Much food for thought here, Donna. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Donna you always come up with the best examples to teach us what God wants spoken to us. Love your story, love hearing about those doggies and love your heart. Hugs. Debbie W. (OBS)

  9. Good kibbles Donna! You gave me something to chew on 🙂 really though, you did!
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and thoughts!

  10. Cathryn moyes said:

    Strong truth for me to chew on. Thank you, Donna, for shining your light & God’s light.

  11. Guilty as charged!

    We don’t like to have to wrestle with the hard stuff because it takes time, effort, emotion, digging through scars and wounds, etc. But I am frequently reminded that there is no growth without struggle. And where as I wouldn’t necessarily run to struggle, I do want to run to growth.

    Thanks for the great post, Donna!

  12. Thanks Beth!! Mine is usually emotional side … thinking I always need to keep em buried! And love your comment about no growth without struggle! So true and I too want to grow up in God! Miss ya and miss your studies!

  13. Great post Donna! The only bad part…I can relate all too well!! The comment above ties in with some recent thoughts…my niece just had reconstructive knee surgery, I’ve been down that road, and said to her, “Well remember, no pain, no gain!” And God seriously whispered to my heart, “Did you just hear that Jill? What you said is true as you walk in faith as well.” Uhh!! Thankful we have friends to encourage us as we press on…one of them being you!

    • Jill, I had to laugh yesterday …. She did it again …. I couldn’t help but think how many times God has to teach me because of my hard head! Peat and Repeat! Thank you so much for your encouraging words!! Bummed to hear about your book. Are there other publishers that might me interested?

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