“I am the bread of life.” ~ John 6:48
I was unpacking groceries one afternoon when Cole cornered me in the kitchen, large blue eyes intent.
“Mom, why can’t I have junk food in my lunch? So-and-so gets Sprite, and so-and-so had two brownies today! Two. The kind with sprinkles and icing.”
I fought back a smile at the earnest expression on his face. Commence, ‘sorry, life isn’t fair’ lesson #47.
“Junk food isn’t real food. It’s a bunch of sugar and not good for you. You get junk food on special occasions.” I paused, looking at him. “He really gets Sprite with his lunch? Wow.”
Yes, I’m of the health nut variety, though not too nutty. We don’t own a farm and raise our own animals or run a co-op, but I do buy mostly organic fruit, eggs, meat and poultry, dairy, and whole grain breads and flour. White bread, Ding Dongs, enriched, bleached flour, soda, and Oreos don’t cross the threshold of our home unless my hubby needs an extra dose of affection (Double-stuff are his primary love language).
The icing on the angel food cake is that Cole is a very picky eater. From toddlerhood on, our firstborn turned his nose up at the very healthy items I enjoy eating, often breaking my heart in the process (side note: yes, I did try foods repeatedly and yes, he often missed dinner because of his refusal to eat what I made). Because he eats so few vegetables, I buy Earth’s Best™ carrot-tomato baby food and mix it in their ketchup a few times each week, as well as other types of fruit-veggie mixes to add in pancake mixes and smoothies.
My goal is to fill our boys with the least processed, most useful food for their growing bodies. Icing-laden, HFCS-full brownies and soda don’t make the cut.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some chocolate – any chocolate - and we have peanut butter cookies on speed dial in the pantry. Mint chocolate chip Klondikes? Check. But I try to save those for special occasions, as I explained to my insistent seven-year old.
“But why do I have to have healthy food? It’s always brown bread and fig cookies…” He was whining now, and I did my best to nip his spiraling questions in the bud, knowing he was experiencing a taste of peer pressure pot pie.
Later, the Holy Spirit tweaked my spirit where Cole’s questions and comments applied in my life. Brown bread. It’s all our boys know. Thick, healthy, unbleached, unenriched, just whole grain, whole wheat goodness.
Jesus. The Bread of life.
In John chapter 6 Jesus called Himself the Bread of life to the large crowd seeking Him, confounding them while teaching a Truth I’m slowly learning in my own life.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you [the Jewish people] the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.”
Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us the bread always.’
And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (Romans 6:32-35)
Our lives truly are a vapor, and daily the world throws every variety of junk food our way, food that will poison our souls. Jesus is the best we can reach for, the only One who will satisfy and conquer the sweet tooth of our sinful nature, Who can turn our taste buds to the Truth of His goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and love.
Nothing else satisfies. Nothing else feeds my soul like Him. Jesus is the Bread of life.
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” ~ John 6:27