My household has been nursing, and now raising, an orphaned kitten. It has been a fun experience, but has required a great deal of tender, loving care. The kitten was fed special kitty milk to grow until she was weaned off of it. This brought to mind that the Bible mentions orphans, being weaned, and milk, in the context of spiritual growth of Christians.
When Jesus was talking to his followers prior to his death, resurrection, and ascension, he told them, “I will not leave you as orphans…”(John 14:18). Not only this, but Jesus said in Ephesians 1: 5 that “he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
As Christians we are told in First Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation-indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
There comes a time, however, when Christians need to be weaned off of spiritual milk. Addressing new believers, the author of Hebrews says in 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Psalm 131:2 says, “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” In Hebrew the word “wean” means “to become a person” of maturity. In the words of Dr. David Jeremiah, it is defined as “no longer straining for sustenance,” as an infant kitten, or new believer in Christ, but rather having contentment and hope in God.
A constant intake of God’s inspired word will wean a Christian off of the spiritual milk of infancy to the solid spiritual food of maturity. We read in Second Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that one may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
I encourage you, if you have not already done so, to make Bible reading a consistent discipline in your life. Start by reading passages that mention Godly qualities. Here are some: Romans 12:9-21, First Corinthians 13; Galatians 5: 16-25; Ephesians 4-6; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:5-10 and 12-17, The Book of James, and the Book of First John.
Love your article. Fits well with your adventure of caring for a helpless orphaned kitten. I am a cat lover and this was a tender picture of a heart of love and compassion which demonstrates God’s gracious love for us.