I’m reading my way through the Bible, beginning to end, for the second time. Don’t be too impressed. The first time through took me seven years. Right now I’m in Exodus, where God tells Moses how to put together the Ark of the Covenant. Talk about some high-budget decorating! The whole thing was made of acacia wood – a really solid hard wood – and then covered in gold. On both sides of the ark are cherubim, hammered out of gold. And on either side of that are little tables for bread.
Plain old bread.
God requested bread on His fancy, holy, gold-and-acacia-wood Ark of the Covenant.
Why, when the Almighty could have anything He wanted, would He request bread? I mean, really. I would’ve requested chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.
But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. You see, bread is fully dependent on God, and fully dependent on us. First, God blesses the crops with rain and sunshine and nutritious soil. He causes the seeds to grow and flourish all the way to harvest. Without God, there would be no grain.
But without us working the fields and harvesting the grain, without us taking that grain to the thresher and turning it into flour, without us adding just the right leavening, molding it into dough, and baking it in the oven . . . without us, there would be no bread. The bread represents the product of God’s blessings and our labor. Apparently, God is so pleased with the results of that particular recipe, he wanted a reminder of it at His holy table.
That got me wondering. What is my bread? What in my life is the result of God’s blessing and my work? The truth is, without God’s blessing, I’m nothing. Without His grace, everything I do turns to dust. But when I take what He’s given me and work it and knead it and shape it and bake it, He’s pleased with the result.
I don’t have to offer Him gold and acacia-wood. He has all the riches He needs. What He wants, what He longs for, is the bread of my life. He wants me to take what He’s given, do my best, and give it right back to Him. And He wants me to add His special ingredients to the mix – love, joy, and peace. Patience and kindness. Goodness, humility and self-control.
The final result doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be offered with sincerity. It’s a bread we make each and every day as we live our lives in a spirit of gratitude, and do all we can to honor Him. Fully dependent on us. Fully dependent on God.
"You are also to make the plates and dishes, as well as the pitchers and bowls for pouring drink offerings. Make them out of pure gold. And place the Bread of the Presence on the table before me at all times," Exodus 25:29-30.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.