Do you have any idea how incredible bread is? Bread is amazing! Some time back, I was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity; I didn’t have celiac, but I was told that if I wanted to improve my health I needed to cut wheat out of my diet. It was miserable! Now, I’m being somewhat facetious, after all, I got much healthier and dropped thirty pounds in two months, bringing me into a much better weight range. That said, those first few months when I cut the grain out were harsh. I began salivating at the mere sight of bread, and not to mention that my family went to my favorite pizza place twice in the first month that I was on my new dietary restriction.
It was at that time that I grew a special appreciation for the passages of the bible that referred to bread. There are many parts of the world where baking bread everyday is still commonly practiced, and it makes a major component in a day’s meal. It used to be even more significant than that; for many centuries bread wasn’t just an ingredient that conveniently goes with anything, but for some it was their basic sustenance.
When Israel sojourned through the desert, they were fed manna from heaven; a unique grain for which I envy them as I won’t try it in this life. It was from this substance from the Lord that the Israelites survived in the wilderness; it was where they got their daily bread. God forbade them from gathering more than they needed in a day, except on the eve of the sabbath, and when they tried to ignore Him, they found that it spoiled (Exodus 16). They were forced to rely on God and gather early every day what they needed to keep them alive.
We also have to remember to seek God for our sustenance every day. Not just our physical needs, but our spiritual ones. When Jesus taught His followers how to pray, part of it was to request God: “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). This supplication can just as easily be applied to our spiritual appetites as our physical ones; Jesus Himself noted just a few chapters earlier that man doesn’t live on bread alone, but on every word of God (Matthew 4:4).
Going without bread for the time that I did wasn’t fun, but going through life without the bread for our souls is much more difficult. It is incumbent on us not only to ask God for Him to provide for us what we need, but also to rise up early and seek what He has given us.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you…This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53 & 58).