I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. You know what I long for Lord; you hear my every sigh. Psalm 38: 8-9
The picture above happens to be one of my biggest supermarket pet peeves. No, it isn’t the fact that the hair dye was bagged with the eggs-that is another tangent all together. It is that somewhere underneath all of that stuff lies a loaf of bread-one that is now crushed. Bread I had to reshape and rebag in the parking lot of my local Harris Teeter.
Since I am human, and too often driven by my emotions, for a split second I thought about marching back in the store to share my opinion and disdain at my new lumpy loaf of bread, but then I began to think about all the other times my bread has been crushed. Every shopping trip to be exact! “Why does this happen to me each time I grocery shop? Why do I always end up with the crushed bread?”
“He was oppressed and treated harshly yet he never said a word.” Isaiah 53:7
You are probably wondering what a crushed loaf of bread has to do with God, or how I could see a connection between my propensity to leave the store with bread buried under a stack of groceries and God, but we also know He speaks to us through the simplest of circumstances. So, on this day…yes, He happened to speak to me through a loaf of bread-a loaf of bread that had been crushed in the same way many of us have been.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven by despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
How many times in my own life have I resembled that loaf of bread? Crushed under the pressure and burden of all the things, situations and circumstances that were mounting on top of me? Yet, even though I was crushed under the weight of life’s storms and trials, God has never left me. Although He may have allowed me to endure the burden for a while, He never failed to deliver me from the bottom of the mounting pile of stuff weighing me down and crushing my spirit. Each time he has picked me up, reshaped me, and “re-bagged” me with a renewed heart, kneading this crushed loaf of despair into a new one of fresh hope and faith.