For the past 11 years, I’ve lived without daily bread. Being gluten-free in a developing country means making it yourself, or going without. So, I’ve gone without. Pancakes, waffles, or corn tortillas served as temporary replacements. In the beginning, I told myself that I didn’t miss eating bread, and some days it was true. In recent years, gluten-free flour options have surfaced here in Belize. This means pizza crust, dinner rolls, and bread moved back into the realm of possibility. Many stores and restaurants in the United States offer gluten-free alternatives with a texture and taste similar to bread. It reminds me that although manna served as a substitute in the wilderness, it wasn’t the real thing. And there’s nothing like the real thing.
In John 6:48, Jesus said, “I am the true Bread of Life.”
Nothing Like the Real Thing
When we have access to the real thing, a substitute will never do. Jesus is the true Bread of Life. He is a genuine source of spiritual enrichment that never fails to satisfy the deepest longing of the heart. There were many in the crowd of disciples that day who couldn’t accept this word from Christ. Perhaps they’d grown so accustomed to substitutes that they bristled at the thought of Jesus being bread. He is the original comfort food for our souls. He alone is the real thing.
Today I used soaked oats, protein powder, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and shredded coconut to make a flatbread for lunch. This wholesome recipe satisfied my craving, provided me with nutrients, and filled my hungry tummy. And yet I wondered how the fluffy texture of the mass-produced store-bought Wonder bread from my childhood spread with peanut butter and strawberry jelly would taste today. Would my nostalgic craving live up to the hype in my heart? Would it give my body the depth of nutrition needed to recover from my workouts? Each day our choices either bring us closer to Him or keep us wandering and wondering on the path of alternatives. But it’s important to remember, that there is nothing like the real thing.