While I was tidying up my kitchen this morning, this post idea came to me.
Brown sugar has a tendency to turn into a large lump of rock candy once the bag has been opened. I don’t bake very often so it is very frustrating when I am in the middle of preparing a recipe only to find the brown sugar in a solid, un-scoopable state that requires a small jack-hammer to break off a piece!
However, many years ago I read a tip on how to prevent this frustrating state from occurring – you just have to keep a slice of apple or a fresh piece of bread in the bag or container with the sugar. The sugar then absorbs the moisture from the apple or bread (talk about sucking the life out of something!). You just have to replace the apple or bread when they become dried out shadows of their former selves.
Now it seems a waste to me to cut up a perfectly good apple just to put a slice of it in with the sugar. But, the crusts at the end of loaves of bread seem to be frequent unwanted visitors in my kitchen and so there is usually one piece that is willing to sacrifice itself for the cause of the common good.
This morning, as I was drumming the changing of the guard – old crust out and the new one in, I thought about how our hearts can become hardened like a lump of rock hard brown sugar. Feelings of hurt, anger, frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, bitterness, strife, jealousy and fear can all dry out our souls and leave us with a hard, cold, unyielding heart. I think that arrogance, ignorance and laziness can also harden people’s hearts.
Job 41:24 His heart is cast hard as a stone, even cast hard as a piece of a riding millstone.
Eze 3:7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are strong of forehead and hard of heart.
God told the Israelites not to harden their hearts:
Heb 3:8 do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness,
Heb 4:7 He again marks out a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” (after so long a time). Even as it is said, “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
God’s Word tells us that putting on righteousness does not come from an outward act but by the inward action of removing the hard and worldly shell of our hearts.
Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart.
The softening of our hearts comes when we accept Jesus as our Saviour. Just as placing a moist crust of bread in with a useless lump of hardened brown sugar will render that lump soft and useable, so to will placing Jesus Christ, who is The Bread of Life, in your heart, make your heart soft, sweet and useful in the Kingdom of God.
Joh 6:51 I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he shall live forever. And truly the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Every time we participate in Communion or the Sacraments, we are remembering that Christ is The Bread of Life.
Luk 22:19 And He took bread and gave thanks, and He broke it and gave it to them, saying, This is My body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of Me.
Luk 14:15 And one of those who reclined with Him heard these things, and he said to Him, Blessed are those eating bread in the kingdom of God.
If a small crust of bread can change useless hard brown sugar into soft and useful sugar, just imagine what placing Christ in your life can do for your heart – your life?!
Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is My body.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us our daily bread, Jesus Christ, so that when we partake of Him, we have eternal life.”
For my readers, I pray:
Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,