May 2022

Broken and Given

I enjoy cooking. The whole process of it. Searching out the ingredients, choosing the right size, color and texture of the produce. Measuring and chopping and mixing. Sautéing, stirring and simmering. Plating and garnishing with just the right flare. Long before the first forkful is savored by a guest, I’ve already feasted on the sight of sun-colored vegetables, the smell of piercing herb aromas, the smooth feel of a sharp knife slicing through berries, and the delicious sound of meat sizzling in olive oil. For me, preparing heightens the joy of partaking.

While I like being a cook, I am not as enamored of baking. For one thing, baking is more an exact science, albeit with artistic presentation. Cooking, on the other hand, is mostly art that happens to taste good. I’ve known some truly accomplished bakers, and I stand in awe of their deeds. The arduous endeavor of folding, molding and kneading bread dough is a skill I never mastered. Once it’s baked to golden perfection, however, I’m first in line for a thick slice dripping with creamy butter. I’m nothing if not supportive.

The symbolism of bread is found throughout Scripture. “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you….” (Exodus 16:4 NASB) Break speaks of God’s provision. “And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me continually.” (Exodus 25:30 NASB) Unleavened bread speaks of consecration. “This is the bread that came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate and died; the one who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:58 NASB) “Now while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.'” (Matthew 26:26 NASB) Jesus is the bread of heaven, blessed, broken and given for you and for me.

I recently found myself pondering the verse in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” And, it seemed like this “working” is akin to the folding and kneading of bread dough. He is working in me to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). In other words, He is working His own goodness into me so that I can be bread in His hand to be broken and given for His purposes. Even as He took the small lunch of loaves and fishes and fed thousands that day, He is quite capable of satisfying me while He gives me away.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24 NASB)

Until next week, beloved, embrace His working of good into your life.

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