Margaret, only three years old, woke up each morning holding not her cuddly teddy bear, but a crusty piece of bread.
She was one of thousands of children orphaned during the bombing raids of World War II and left to starve. Some were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they could receive food and care.
Many of these children had lost so much, they feared waking up to find themselves without food. They had trouble sleeping at night. Until someone had the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Then, they slept in peace.
Through the night, the bread reminded them that they ate that day, and tomorrow they would eat again.*
What are you holding onto—and it still doesn’t help you sleep? What are you holding onto—and it still doesn’t bring you lasting peace? What are you holding onto—and it still can’t replace what you’ve lost?
Jesus promises, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48). Hold onto him.
Jesus was there for you yesterday, will be there for you today, and also tomorrow. Jesus gives you life and strength—so that you can sleep, knowing that you are in his care, in his love and mercy, and always in his family.
Then look for others who, like children without bread, don’t have Jesus to hold onto. Share your bread with them tonight.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you are the Bread of Life, always available, never costly, with plenty to share. When I am tempted to hold onto false beliefs, fill my hunger with you as my Bread. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read John 6:47-50. What kind of life does Jesus promise? For which people?
* This story was shared in my doctor’s newsletter and he read it in a book titled Sleeping with Bread, Holding What Gives You Life. Veritas Healthy Community Newsletter Volume 64, Week 4 – July 2022. Dr. Ben Edwards.