Has something ever tasted heavenly when you’re famished and mediocre when you’re only mildly hungry? I have a feeling most of the things I cook in my dorm will have this same disappointing effect if I attempt to make them five years from now (when I hopefully have an actual kitchen). Regardless, I’m convinced that the bread I made a few weeks ago was truly manna from Heaven. Not because I made it (believe me, that’s never to any food’s benefit), but because the Lord provided it. The week before I made this bread, I’d been praying the Lord would provide food until my next paycheck. At the time, I had approximately 3 cans of black beans, 1 protein bar, 3 cans of tuna, 1 individual bag of pasta, peanutbutter, bags of frozen fruit, oatmeal, carrots, jelly, and baking items (like flour, spices, etc). Oatmeal and smoothies would cover two meals a day for at least a week, but I was still missing another meal (and a lot of calories). As much as I love black beans, tuna, and peanutbutter, it’s hard for me to eat those plain for very long. I really needed some sort of bread. That day I learned the importance of the prayer “give us this day our daily bread.” So I got on my knees, prayed, and here’s what happened…
I was at work the next morning worrying about the next couple weeks (I’m excellent at worrying in case anyone ever needs a lesson) and the Lord reminded me to pray. The Lord promises that His unfathomable peace will come if we pray. As always, He was faithful to keep that promise and peace quickly covered my anxiety. Being more peaceful, I was able to start thinking through some more logical responses to the food issue (other than mixing black beans, peanutbutter, and tuna). I started praying for creativity. Throughout the day the Lord flooded my mind with new thoughts. It took hours of dead ends for me to finally find something that worked.
Without yeast, baking powder, eggs, or milk, my options were limited. I also had no vegetables to do something like zoodles, cauliflower tortillas, etc. I finally discovered a recipe for bread that required no yeast, eggs, or milk. The only catch was it did require baking powder. At first, that discouraged me. Then the Lord helped me find an alternative to baking powder that was actually in my dorm: lemon juice and baking soda. The instructions I found online were pretty complicated (math also isn’t my strong point), but I just prayed (and laughed) as I was making the dough that the Lord would help it turn out okay. If anyone else tasted this bread, they might turn their nose up, but I thought it tasted wonderful.
I ate it plain, with honey, and made it into a PB&J. I probably could’ve eaten the entire loaf in one sitting. I kept thinking about Exodus 16:30 where manna “tasked like wafers made with honey” (HSCB). How much sweeter is the Lord’s provision? If I had relied on my own resources, I would have paid a bill late or borrowed money to buy bread that would not have tasted as good. Or I might have just eaten scoops of peanutbutter by itself. Yet, the Lord truly provided food that I could rejoice over eating. I just had to wait on Him and trust His plans. I too often take matters into my own hands, unwilling to wait and trust. I worry that He does not have things under control, forgetting to remember the work He’s done.
(And to all the moms out there, I promise I didn’t just eat bread, honey, and oatmeal all week. The Lord provided some other recipe ideas that helped make my other pantry items come to life. He also provided some other food unexpectedly.)