Lent Week 3…There is bread enough

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? —–Romans 8:32 (NASB)

**For Linda…the Bread-makers Daughter**

I am homesick.

Homesick for me is a longing for giant blue skies that reach as far as the eye can see, snow capped mountains in the distance, and coffee (or a cocktail) and meaningful (or silly) conversation with my tribe.

Today homesick also meant missing Pearl’s bread. This grand lady usually appears at my door a couple times a year with long, beautiful loaves of homemade bread wrapped in foil and tea towels  It is brought to accompany some paltry thing I might have come up with for dinner, but soon steals the show and becomes the main course for all invited to the dinner table. The bread is always warm, filling, and I can never get enough.

As I considered the bread and the blessed bread-maker my mind wandered to scripture. Pondering bread during a time of Lent can send a person on a journey through scripture that could take days. But today I stayed in two places. And in those two places I found myself thinking of the daughter of the bread-maker…my dear friend and sister of my soul.

Scene 1
The Israelites have just been rescued from slavery in Egypt. They have seen plagues, miracles, and have walked across a dry river bed while the water stacked high above them waiting upstream. They are footsore, uncertain, confused, and in shock. Two month into their journey the people start to complain that they wish they had been killed by God in Egypt. After all, at least in Egypt they had bread.

Clearly the lack of carbs has caused these folks to lose their minds.
“Oh that we had died back there because at least back there we had bread!
Yes…but you’d be DEAD.
Who among us hasn’t acted the fool when we’ve gone without carbs for a few months? But I digress…

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. ” –Exodus 16:4 (NLT)

The people, who had only recently been enslaved and making bricks for the merciless rulers of Egypt, were now being given manna that was “white like coriander seed and tasted like honey wafers” by a merciful God. They didn’t work for it. All they did was wake up in the morning and it was there. Each person could pick up as much as they needed. It did not last overnight and had to be gathered every day.

Maybe they didn’t need to be back in Egypt after all. Maybe they didn’t need to be slaves to Pharoah for a little bit of food to feed their hungry bellies. Maybe…just maybe they had a God who saw them in their lowly state. Saw their need and sent provision. And not just provision..an abundance. Enough to fill them every day.

All they needed to do was go to sleep every night trusting that when they awoke, God would provide enough for the day.
He had been worthy of trust yesterday.
He had proven himself to be good again today.
Their part of the deal was believing that God would still be trustworthy and good tomorrow.  

Scene 2
It’s the day after Jesus has fed 5000+ people with two loaves of bread and a couple fish. The disciples and the people following him had seen him pray food into existence. And not just barely enough. There were leftovers…plenty of leftovers…12 baskets of leftovers.

This was a rabbi the people could see themselves following. This was a guy they wanted to spend time with. This was a guy who could tell a good story, make miracles happen, and fill their bellies. And that is indeed what the crowd wanted. They wanted Jesus to keep feeding them.

Instead he told them a different story. He explained that he is the bread of life. That he could give them life from heaven in a way that even the manna that God provided in the wilderness couldn’t do. He could fill them to overflowing and leave them with spiritual leftovers. He could give them more than they’d need to make it through life but they had to trust him. (John 6:22-71)

The people who liked Jesus the Chef, where not super excited about Jesus the Meal. He was freaking them out with all his “you must eat of my body” talk and many of them left. Those who didn’t really know where else they could possibly turn, stuck around.

All they needed to do was go to sleep every night trusting that when they awoke, God would provide enough for the day.
He had been worthy of trust yesterday.
He had proven himself to be good again today.
Their part of the deal was believing that God would still be trustworthy and good tomorrow.

Scene 3
The roof is leaking. The mortgage is due. The cat has been in a fight and needs to go to the vet. The elderly parent needs attention. The car unexpectedly needs a new tire. There is food to buy…and not the cheap processed stuff…the good stuff that you’ve promised to put into your body in order to treat it like a temple. The job fell through. The check is late. The gas tank is empty. There is medicine to pay for. The neighbor needs help with her small child. The church needs a pair of strong hands to help serve.

All you can think is…is there enough? Will there be bread enough to go around? Will everyone go to bed full? And even if they do, what will happen tomorrow? Or the next day? Or the day after that?

Then the Holy Spirit comes with her reminders…

All you people who are thirsty, come! Here is water for you to drink. Don’t worry if you have no money. Come, eat and drink until you are full! You don’t need money. The milk and wine are free. –Isaiah 55:1 (ERV)

You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength. …They all depend on you  to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied  –Psalm 104: 14-15, 27-28 (NLT)

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. –Matthew 7: 9-11 (NLT)

Then you are reminded that even the Prodigal Son went home after realizing that “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!”

Jesus offers himself when he says “I am the bread of life.” On his final night he ate with his friends and told them that his body would be broken for them and that they were to remember him when they broke bread together. He offers life abundant. He offers blessing. He offers the hope of feasting with him when he returns for us. He offers hope. He offers nourishment. He offers real honest-to-goodness filling. Not only with bread and wine. Not only with love and joy. But with his very Spirit coming to live in us and bring us peace in the midst of our mortgages, hunger, and doctors visits. He alleviates our one true fear…that God will stop loving us.

All we need to do is go to sleep every night trusting that when we awake, God will provide enough for the day.
He was worthy of trust yesterday.
He proved himself to be good again today.
Our part of the deal is believing that God will still be trustworthy and good tomorrow.

1 thought on “Lent Week 3…There is bread enough

  1. Mom is touched. I am renewed. My belly is once again filled with his life in abundance! Thank you for your beautiful words and binding them with Gods word, all to rise up and strengthen me for today and tomorrow.

    I re-dedicate it to you….

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