Times are hard. Michigan spends $2.30 per day (not per meal) to feed its inmates, down from $2.60. (South Carolina spends $1.51.) My friend imprisoned in Jackson says the quality is down too, and that the only thing that keeps the food from being unhealthier is that the serving size is also down.
So I have been praying that God will keep David healthy, even on food with hardly any nutrients in it that comes in boxes marked "For Human Consumption."
I might not have thought to pray like that at all except that a few days ago I received a letter from a WORLD reader who was telling me about her sleep problems. She said she finally reasoned to herself like this: There is nowhere in the Bible that says that our strength comes from sleep; there are plenty of places in the Bible that say that our strength comes from God. Therefore God is able to make us strong on little or no sleep. Having thus reasoned, the woman prayed her thoughts back to God and asked Him to give her the required strength for the day, with or without sleep.
I believe the Lord smiled when He heard that. It is the very kind of thing that used to delight Jesus during his earthly sojourn:
"When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at her, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, 'I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith'" (Luke 7:9).
Though I am interested in both the subjects of inmate food and insomnia, that is not the focus of today's musing for you. Rather, I am excited about the salubrious effect on my faith of being surrounded by people like my correspondent, people who have a bigger faith than mine.
If it were not for that particular WORLD reader's influence, I might not have thought to pray the following prayer to the Lord:
"Lord, nothing is impossible for you. Please keep my friend David's body strong and healthy even on a poor diet-just as you kept your servant Daniel's and his friends' bodies strong when they refrained, for conscience reasons, from the king's delicacies." ("At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the kind's food" [Daniel 1:15].)
There are two kinds of counsel you can get from other Christians-that which tends to decrease your faith or that which tends to increase it; that which tends to confirm you in your chronically low expectations of the power of God, or that which tends to challenge you and pull you upward. Lord, here is the favor I ask you: Let me have people around me whose faith leads them to find ever-new pathways of reasoning. Let me have people in my life who are inexhaustible in finding fresh connections and applications of your truth to the givens of their lives.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.