Even a dog gets used to things
John 6 v 35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Last evening I watched the BBC drama, The Windermere Children. It tells of the true story of the child survivors of the Nazi Holocaust who arrive at the Calgarth Estate by Lake Windermere with only the clothes they wear and a few meagre possessions. We now call it therapy, for 4 months the children entered a rehabilitation programme of art and physical exercise led by the German Jewish analyst and social worker, Oscar Friedman.
There’s a striking scene at the first dinner when the children see the bread placed in front of them and they all rush off, before the traditional blessing can be said, snatching the bread, hiding it in their rooms and wolfing down small scraps they’ve torn off.
Those still alive are now obviously in their 80s and 90s, but one of them, Arek, recalls, ‘I remember the way we all grabbed at the bread,’ he says. ‘We’d hide it under the mattress and the people who looked after our rooms kept finding mouldy bread. We thought the food might suddenly stop.’ Another, Sam, who was imprisoned in four camps – Blizin, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt – nods in agreement, ‘I had bicycle clips on my trousers and I’d put the bread down my trousers,’ he recalls. Then he said the most interesting thing, ‘Eventually we realised the bread wasn’t going to end. Even a dog gets used to things.’
Across the world and for thousands of years bread is central to every culture and most religions. In Buddhist ceremonies they place it on incense burners to honour the dead. After Ramadan moves into a feast the Muslims bake their bread. For the Jews, bread is everything, mentioned numerous times in the Torah. Of course for Christians we will take bread during our Communion services and the birthplace of our Saviour means the ‘House of Bread’, Bethlehem.
But most of us will never know what it feels like to think there will be no more bread.
I’ve just read a moving story of an Indian lady who sold her hair for £1.50 because after her husband committed suicide because of mounting debts, she had nothing left to feed her children. Hunger will make us act in the most desperate of ways.
Is your bread running out today?
Are you fearing it is going to run out and tomorrow you won’t have anything?
Are you trying to make your own bread because you don’t think you can ask Jesus again?
The response of Jesus is to a prayer that we need to pray every day of our lives:
V34 “Always give us this bread.”
“Give me you today”
You won’t go hungry if you continually come to Jesus.
Once we realise that Jesus continues to supply who He is to us, that He is new every morning and He rises every day giving life, purpose and hope, then we will stop hiding in fear, for even dogs get used to things.