Jesus said "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6.35)
I'm gluten intolerant. It has taken some adjusting but eventually I got the hang of it. I got past the withdrawals of not having toast for breakfast or a muffin with my coffee. I learned to cook using substitute flours or pastas or just going without. It didn't kill me. In fact, I feel healthier. But the kind of bread Jesus was talking about wasn't the hot, fresh out of the oven, smothered with butter kind. He said HE WAS the bread. A few posts back I wrote about the Woman at the Well and her wanting Jesus to give her the water that would forever quench her thirst. Here, Jesus is saying he'll not only satisfy your thirst, but he'll satisfy your hunger too.
Life is full of things that promise to fulfill us but they are most often temporary or, worse, counterfeit. I love to shop and my husband once asked me 'how many pieces of clothing does a woman need? when is it enough?" (Silly question. My answer was rhetorically phenomenal: How many tools does a man need before he has enough? When he sat there is a seemingly stumped silence I added: clothing are MY tools for looking good for you. Ha ha!) Yet in all seriousness, while that little rush I get when I make my purchase is fun, it doesn't last. When I eat my lunch, it won't be but a few hours before I am ready to eat again. That's the way my body was designed. It needs food-fuel on a regular basis to run properly. So it is with my spirit. I need regular fill ups from Jesus and just once a week on Sunday isn't going to do it. I want to be hungry, fiercely hungry, for the only ONE who can give me what I really need.
I have tried some gluten free breads. Hmmm....... Let me just say, they never measure up. I might not notice it in brownies (put enough sugar in something and it is bound to taste good) but when it comes to making a sandwich? Sorry, gluten-free bread, you just don't satisfy. It's gotta be the real deal or nuthen'. It's the same with Jesus. Those counterfeit substitutes will not fill me in a way that will sustain me.
When the Israelites wandered in the desert for those 40 years, God sent manna from heaven to feed them. He didn't dole out a portion once a week to carry them through till the next week. No, God supplied what they needed that day. He gave them just enough for the day and every morning there was fresh manna. Jesus is still in the bread business. He offers us a daily portion of Himself hoping we will come with a hunger only He can meet.
If I passed around a bread basket at the dinner table and you pulled out one of the gluten free products, you might be a little disappointed. (a LOT disappointed) Especially if you were expecting hot, fresh out of the oven bread, smothered with butter. Yet, how often does the breadbasket of life choices fall short of offering true satisfaction?
I have often find myself trying to fill up my soul with substitutes. Yes, the shopping. Yes, watching a movie or reading a book (not a bad thing by any means!) Sometimes its frivolous things; mani-pedi time. But probably by far the thing that occupies my time more than anything are the social media outlets. I'm not saying any of these things are wrong. What I am saying is I recognize that often I am trying to fill a void in my life that only ONE can fill yet I keep going for the counterfeit basket of bread.
I was recently challenged (convicted) in my spirit to make some changes about how I spend my time. In an effort to re-prioritize, and to re-focus, I decided to unplug from facebook for awhile. This is day one, and I have to admit, it's harder than I thought it would be. Having that smartphone capability has made it too easy to allow other things to distract me or entertain me when I might be doing things that would be of far more value. I keep picking up my phone and twiddling with it, determined to NOT GO THERE. I have plenty of other things to do but I guess I hadn't really realized what a habit the facebook thing has become.
I said once that it has to be "God's book before Facebook" but even that rule has gotten bent a time or two.
So this week I am taking a deeper look at this thing called the Bread of Life, examining how I can better use my time to bring glory to the One Who Is Worthy.
So, tell me friends; what's in your bread basket?