February 1, 2020
Bread of Life
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. – Psalm 37:25
Having grown up during the Great Depression, I have seen some tough times. Between 1929 and 1933, more than thirteen million Americans lost their jobs, bringing the national unemployment rate from 3.2 to 24.9 percent. Also during those years, ten thousand banks failed, losing two billion dollars of deposits (a devastating amount in the 1930s). The poverty that swept over thousands of families created one of the most challenging periods in our nation’s history. Yet, not one in my family ever suffered hunger. Dad believed he had an obligation to provide money and food for our family, and God helped him to do just that, even when jobs were very difficult to find.
Unlike many others, I have fond memories of our meals from that period of national crisis. Mom had a large rhubarb patch next to the garden that our whole family maintained regularly. We had some rhubarb pies, an occasional stew, and many salads. Mom had one specialty that everyone in the neighborhood appreciated: homemade bread. She could bake bread in her ancient woodstove and entice everyone nearby. Kids would gather around by the dozen, each waiting patiently for those beautiful brown rolls. And besides the tasty rolls, she baked many loaves of bread and occasionally cinnamon rolls. By the grace of God, I do not think anyone in our town ate better than our family did at that time!
Our family certainly proved today’s focus verse. In a time of great need, the Lord provided for us abundantly. But He did not only supply our physical food. Scripture says, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Yes, we had great family dinners, but we also had regular family worship. Dad read the Bible and we all prayed. The Lord was just as faithful to supply our spiritual needs as our physical.
There is not such a shortage of physical necessities today, but there is a lack of hearing the Word of the Lord. Let us remember that even as the world around us seems to get darker every day, the Lord will never forsake us. He will provide abundantly for those who serve Him.