Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Years ago, when my kids are growing up, I make bread from scratch on a regular basis. The recipe book I trust never lets me down. And though the process from start to finish practically takes up an entire day of "standing guard" over the rising loaves, I derive great satisfaction in knowing I'm providing my family with a nutritious alternative for their endless peanut butter/jelly or grilled cheese sandwiches.
But as time goes by, and my working life accelerates, bread making eventually falls by the wayside. When Danny and I get married, I try several times to revive this healthy habit, but to no avail. Although I use the exact same recipe I've always counted on, my loaves come out dense, flat, and most definitely unappealing.
I suppose you can guess where they end up.
Enter 2017 and the arrival of a brand-spanking new Kitchen Aid mixer.
Danny is beside himself with excitement, knowing he can now make fresh pasta with ease. Me? Even though the machine comes with a small recipe book, which includes how to make bread, I am still gun-shy. As I too often do in the face of inevitable change, I find myself dragging my feet, apprehensive to even attempt the execution of a decent loaf of bread.
This past Saturday, with Danny's help, I muster up my courage and take the plunge. After all, I reason, what do I stand to lose if it fails? A few cups of flour? A couple of yeast packets?
So here we go!
Here is the dough after rising for one hour. Looking good!
I punch it down, divide it, and shape into loaves.
These are covered and allowed to rise for another hour.
And rise, they do, and how!
Golden brown and aromatic, fresh from the oven.
They slice beautifully, but the final proof is in the tasting.
Does it pass? With flying colors!
And I am overwhelmed with elation and thankfulness to the Lord that all my hopes have exceeded expectations. And while I rejoice in the success of this bread-making venture, I am reminded of the One who is the very Bread of Life. I know that when I run to Jesus, my spirit will never go hungry; I will be filled with and satisfied by His Word.
Because as our Lord tells us, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)
May we always give thanks to God for meeting our earthly needs, and seek the spiritual sustenance only His Word can offer.