As a young person growing up in an American household, I do not recall having a fondness for the squishy, nearly flavorless bread available on American grocery store shelves. As a result, the only time I actually enjoyed eating bread was when my mother baked it herself, which usually was in conjunction with a special meal. However, when I spent time in France and Germany as a university student, I discovered the marvels of REAL bread — bread from ordinary local bakeries that tasted heavenly, was surrounded with delicious crust, had substance, and actually required chewing prior to swallowing. I suddenly understood what BREAD should be. Although my personal preference in physical bread probably does not matter to anyone but me, I do believe God desires me to cultivate a taste for spiritual bread, bread that nourishes, bread that brings life, bread that has eternal weight.
As an adult, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and wonder if there is anything left of me! When I am depleted — or close to being so — , I remember that I most likely need another serving of REAL bread — the Bread of Life. In John 6:48-51, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (NKJV)
When I feel exhausted, used up, and empty, I can always turn to Jesus, the One Who loves me better than anyone else could ever love me. He is the living Word, the Bread of Life, Who infuses me with His very own life. He is always available, and He always listens. He never grows stale. He gives me His life to share with others, as He is the God of more than enough. He gives me what I need, plus enough to give away. The Living Word of God — Jesus Christ — is the source of strength and power in my life, and He wants to manifest Himself to others.
Sometimes, however, those around me may not be receptive to the Gospel; they may not wish to hear about God’s faithfulness, power, or sacrifice on our behalf. Perhaps they have not yet acquired a taste for the Bread of Life. After all, I have met people who do not realize that there is a better loaf than the ubiquitous and inappropriately-named “Wonder Bread.” In that case, I need to remember that Jesus, the Bread of Life, also stated that those who believe in Him are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). As salt, I need to be willing to be poured out on behalf of others (just as Jesus was poured out and sacrificed for me).
I recall devouring my mother’s homemade dinner rolls with a generous sprinkling from the salt shaker at the table. Somehow, those rolls, though light and deliciously buttery, tasted even better with salt. Is it possible that the Holy Spirit is inviting me to be sprinkled over the Bread of Life as I share God’s love and kindness with those around me? Am I truly the salt on the Bread? Is God inviting me to enhance the flavor of His Presence as I am poured out for others? He surely can show me creative ways to present His life to them, ways that will help them desire His goodness for themselves.
Father, help me to be the salt that attracts people to taste of the Bread of Life! Show me where you want to turn me upside down and sprinkle your goodness on those in my circles of influence!