The Sunday services have finished. The switch on the melodious organ has been turned off, and the choir has hung their gowns in the choir room. The custodian has locked the doors to the sanctuary; and everybody has gotten in their cars, and drove off.
At home, you kick off the uncomfortable shoes and the suffocating corset. You plop down in your comfortable easy chair, switch on the TV, and settle in to the humdrum monotony of your real, everyday life. You are at home, now, and at home is the one place where you can be – must – be yourself.
You stood in line, as usual, today, hoping for a breakthrough. The preacher layed his hands on you, and you danced for a minute or two; but when it was over you didn’t feel that anything about your situation had changed.
Oh, how you needed a word from the Lord.
This is a book for the broken; for anyone who has ever found themselves going through, in a “dry place, “needing a word from the Lord. It does not contain any magical formulae or benign promises of great wealth; just some words of encouragement, from the Savior, Who declares that “I am the BREAD of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
The simple message is, it does not matter about our broken relationships, broken condition, broken minds, broken hearts, or broken spirits, we live with the assurance that Jesus gives to us, that he is the Bread of Life. Jesus is our most basic need that fills our hunger.
Our brokenness does not matter, because Jesus is our BREAD of Life.
I started writing this book when I was really in a battle to keep my head above the waters of hope — much less faith. In fact I had started to write this book on I can't recall how many occasions when I found myseelf struggling to keep my head above those same waters. In those times I have prayed, cajoled, strategized, and even pleaded, but still sometimes got no answer from the God I'd put on front street, even during a time when I lived in a land where so many already question His very existence.
People look to us for comfort, for strength; not realizing that we face struggles every day, too ... just like them. In China I was the poster child for "Jehovah-jireh" for seven years — for helping them to see in my own difficulties how God will part the troubled waters for us ... It's what we preachers do.
We talk a good game, but I can assure you that all of us have those private moments where we wonder if God is really there – really listening to us, or even concerned about us. The disciples had Jesus right in the boat with them, and yet even to them — men who could talk to Him about their problems, face to face — it seemed as if He was oblivious to the tragedy that was confronting them. What chance does a West Side Negro from Detroit have in a place like China, when it looks like the devil is about to capsize his boat?
Broken to Bread
Is a collection of words of encouragement that have been given to me in troubled times. I write these messages from the vanage point of someone who knows what it is to try to steer a ship through a storm: I've had a storm or two, in my own life. I've found myself wondering too, "Lord, don't you care if I perish?"
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