Something of Substance


Last updated 9/10/2015 at 5:20pm

As autumn chills the air, my thoughts turn to food, not just the light salads and cold fruits of summer, but something more substantial. I bring out the slow cooker for hearty beef stews and savory chicken noodle soups. Flavorful ham hocks bring beans, lentils and split peas to life. I like to have a pot of chili and a loaf of hot bread ready at the first sign of snow. Spicy ginger cookies make a perfect companion to a hot cup of tea.

One of my fondest memories of going to school on the reservation in Wyoming was sneaking up to the cook shack to get hot bread dipped in melted butter. The cooks warmed my day!

I got curious about this seemingly instinctive change in food focus so I did a little research and discovered an appetizer of information. Denser foods like carrots, winter squash and pumpkins break down in the body slower; this releases a steady flow of energy and raises the internal body temperature. Ginger and garlic contain “natural antibacterial compounds Vitamin C and beta carotene—also found in winter vegetables like carrots and broccoli—which can stimulate the immune system, helping the body fend off winter bugs like the flu.” (

I now sense a similar need for more substantial spiritual food and wonder if a spiritual winter is coming. I have studied and taught God’s Word for decades, but I feel a need to dig into His Word for strength and inspiration. I need something substantial. Our world is a broken, hurting, and dangerous place, both physically and spiritually.

I think back on what God showed me as I wrote the book, Walking with the Creator Along the Narrow Road, and I ponder how Jesus, our Creator, gave us the physical world to show us His spiritual truth. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:3-4 NIV) God said “Let there be light,” and physical light brought life to a dark, dead world. Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world. He is the source of our spiritual life.

God divided the waters so that we not only have lakes and rivers but clouds to replenish them. We cannot live without water. We also need water for cleansing. Jesus invites us to come to Him when we thirst, and His Word washes us spiritually and makes us clean.

God caused the seed-bearing plants to emerge from dry ground. We need seeds to live. These tiny bits of nothing absorb light and water and bring miraculous provisions of food, clothing and oxygen to breathe. Jesus went as a seed down into the ground so that we could have life. Amazing!

God provides an abundance of tasty foods for every season, nation and culture. He also gives us His Word for spiritual food. With lawlessness and violence increasing, we need substantial food for our spirits. I need more than biblical academic knowledge to survive. I need to know His heart and follow His voice to navigate through the time ahead. I feel a hunger to come to His table and take in His nourishment.

Saying that, I think I will go have a slice of the pumpkin pie that I made last night and then get into God’s Word. God bless you all as you enjoy His hearty soul food.


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