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Sleeping with Bread, Living With Hope

A few years ago I was booking a family holiday to this fantastic place in Wales

I had paid a 50% deposit via my bank. We were all really looking forward to it. But a few days later the owners of the venue said that the money had not arrived. I checked everything, finally I realised that I had switched the numbers of the bank sort code and sent the money to a random person in Portsmouth. I had lost the money, I felt so stupid, and where was I going to get the money so I could pay the deposit.... I went from hope to despair in a moment.

Have you ever had a time like that? When it seems like more is going wrong than right? Or when things are changing too fast, or when you get news that you did not want to hear?

There is a wonderful book that I have had for many years called 'Sleeping with Bread'. The book opens with this story...

Sleeping with BreadDuring the bombing raids of World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow."

Life is full of highs and lows, joy and pain. Things that bring us life and things that drag us down. How we respond to those things is really important.

In the book, 'Sleeping with Bread', the authors suggests a way of living well each day, no matter what the circumstances. The idea is simple, you end the day with two questions:

What am I most grateful for?

What am I least grateful for?

Then you bring those things before God. You ask him to help you with what was difficult and thank him for what was good.

Jesus says “I am the bread of life”. Ultimately he is the one who sustains and provides for us. We can ask him to help us with the difficult things and thank him for the things that were good and that sustained us. In doing this simple thing, even when life is tough we can be people of hope. There was bread today, there will be bread tomorrow. There was something good today, there will be something good tomorrow.

This was originally given as a talk at the Connect 3TL as part of it first 'thought for the day' slot. It is a very gentle introduction to a simple way of praying called the Examin.