There’s just something about the savory smell of fresh bread baking in the oven that makes my mouth water. My mom was an amazing gourmet cook. We used to say she could have had a catering business or a restaurant. But one of her specialties was all kinds of bread—whether it was banana bread baked in loaves or her orange and coconut crescent rolls she made at Christmas. Her sourdough rolls and buttermilk bread where also some favorites. The kitchen always smelled heavenly when mom baked.
I’ve tried baking and I just don’t quite have my mom’s talent. Not even close. A prefab box of brownies can prove to be a challenge for me. My oldest daughter seems to have inherited that culinary skill and Nicole loves to specialize in gluten free cakes, cupcakes, and iced cookies—which are all true works of art and delicious too.
Fresh bread is a rare treat for many of us. Most of the store-bought versions are loaded with chemicals, additives, and preservatives. Or should you purchase fresh bread from a bakery, it must be quickly consumed or it is quick to harden or mold!
When I think of fresh bread, I can’t help but draw the spiritual analogy. Jesus taught us to pray: “Give us this day, our daily bread…” Just like in ancient biblical days, we need daily bread or food to sustain us. But we also need the spiritual bread of Heaven to sustain us or we can quickly flounder and grow faint of heart.
We cannot live on yesterday’s bread, or yesterday’s faith. We need a fresh encounter in God’s Word to help and nourish our souls. We cannot live off the breadcrumbs of life; rather we need to feast on His truth. Especially when our souls are famished and we need more than the fare this world can offer us. We need the wholesome Word that isn’t watered down or loaded with junk. We need God’s truth that isn’t cut with unhealthy preservatives (like lies we’ve held on to or “preserved” for too long), that makes the true bread of God too hard to digest. We have to make sure we feed our bodies healthy food and feed our spirits on what is truth---otherwise we can cause harm to our bodies and our souls.
This analogy was brought to life literally and spiritually one day when I threw out all kinds of rolls I had left over from a big party. After days had passed and the birds and squirrels had not even touched the bread I wondered, “What do they know that I don’t? What’s in the bread?” I wondered too if it was more poisonous than nourishing as I had to clean up all the breadcrumbs that hadn’t disintegrated either.
The Israelites learned a lesson about fresh bread: on their trek through the wilderness toward the promised land, God literally rained down manna from Heaven. Manna was some kind of fine flaky powder that once gathered, the Israelites could make cakes or bread from. However, they were instructed to gather it daily and not try to hoard it. They learned they needed the daily fresh bread from Heaven to sustain them. The spiritual application for us is true as well.
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry again…” (John 6:35). He obviously was drawing the spiritual and emotional parallel here--meaning that the world can never satisfy a hunger of a different nature. But it is in partaking of the Bread of Life, or having a nourishing relationship with Jesus that we find true and lasting satisfaction for our hearts.
Are you hungry? Partake of the eternal bread and maybe bake some fresh bread to eat and share with others this cool fall day.
I know you long for meaning, for purpose, and for satisfaction that can only be found in Me. Why do you turn to the world trying to satisfy the hunger in your soul that only I can fulfill? Come to Me. I am the Bread of Life. In Me, you will find all that you need. Come and eat and partake freely of My Word and seek Me. Let your soul be satisfied today.
“Give us this day our daily bread…” (Matthew 6:11)
“The people went about and gathered it and ground it…and made cakes of it...” (Numbers 11:8)
“This is the bread that came down from Heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (Hebrews 9:4)