Last fall I attended the Youth Specialties conference (a huge gathering of youth ministers) in Nashville with my daughter, Laura. One of the sessions we attended was taught by a man who had been a minister to middle school students for about 20 years. In his presentation he referred to a book called Sleeping with Bread. I have since read this book and I want to share with you just one quick story from that book as we continue cultivating joy in our lives.
Sleeping with Bread
“During the bombing raids of World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, ‘Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow.’”
I can hardly imagine the pain and insecurity these orphaned children experienced and I certainly appreciate the efforts of all those who cared for these children. And yet I think of how often we are like those children, clutching on to a loaf of bread for our security. Holding on to something material, something physical, to provide security and joy.
Let’s remember our joy doesn’t come from anything material – whether a loaf of bread or a newer, bigger house or more expensive toys. Our security is rooted in God and His faithful promises. If you are not experiencing joy, perhaps you are holding onto something material instead of God.
I hope you will take time to meditate on this passage I used to conclude the sermon last Sunday —
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”