By the Right Bread Alone (Psalm 19:7)

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

Today, I took my family to lunch at Panera, feeding nine in the bargain. First of all, the price tag hit me a little harder than I thought it would. Then, Olivia appeared beside me as the cashier swiped my card. Apparently she hadn’t ordered. Then, when Penny received her food, macaroni and cheese, it was cold. The crew didn’t seem terribly bothered and took an inordinate time heating or replacing or whatever the bowl. Frankly, I was ticked off. I considered a snarky attack on the people preparing the food. Then I decided to hunt for bigger fish.

Walking toward the manager, a couple of verses popped into my head. First, that whole annoying “Do unto others” thing crossed my mind. Then James 1:20 crossed my mind: “human anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”

With my best calm face on, I explained our problem, the cold mac and cheese, to the manager. He apologized and wound up giving my grandkids free cookies, a good deal all the way around.

The core of this matter, however, does not lie in delicious and free cookies. It lies in how good I felt when I flushed my anger away and calmly explained my problem to the manager. In this case, the law (or word) of the Lord refreshed my soul.

How often do we allow ourselves, caught up in our problems, our frustrations, and our worries, to let the soul go stale. Relying on our own wisdom, we look simple and foolish. We’re tied up in knots over a bowl of cold macaroni and cheese. But then, when we turn from ourselves, from our own wisdom, from our own strength, we find in God’s Word a refreshing sustenance.

In John’s gospel, we read of the Word that was in the beginning. That Word, we discover, became flesh. Eventually, we discover that Jesus is that Word. Later in the gospel, He explains that He is the bread of life (John 6:35). That bread, that Word, will sustain me in times of trouble. Why do I ever place my trust elsewhere?

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