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One evening I was preparing to bake cookies for a shut-in neighbor. The first thing I took from the cupboard was brown sugar. The last time I used it, it had been carefully put in a glass jar for “soft” keeping. To my amazement, it was hard as a rock! It didn’t seem as though I had taken proper care of it, although I thought I had.

What should I do now? I had no more sugar, and the neighbor I might have borrowed from was not home. Then I remembered a solution for such a problem as this.

I reached for a loaf of bread, tore off part of a slice and put it in the jar. I screwed on the lid and put it back on the shelf. How long would I have to wait for the softening process? How long would it take?

The next morning I unscrewed the lid, and with a spoon, tried it again. To my surprise the contents were soft. yielding, and ready to be used. What could make such a difference? You guessed it…the bread!

Some might say, “I don’t believe it! What do bread and brown sugar have in common? Not much, except that one was dried out, absent of that which made it usable.

The other had that which it imparted to the sugar, thus bringing it back its original texture and usefulness. But the two had to be put together. I baked cookies that morning.

Later, while thinking of some friends, I thought how unlike a couple of them are. The difference being…how easily one adjusts and accepts changes in life, and with a forgiving spirit, while the other is more inclined to be critical, disapproving and sometimes difficult to be around. Maybe the answer can be found in the same principle as the brown sugar and bread.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life”. (John 6:35) He is not only the source of Eternal Life, but is also the fulfillment of every need we have in this life. He is our Guide, Strength, Comforter and Savior. Our expectation is from Him.

Just as the brown sugar—neglected and shut away by itself, became useless, so also when the Bread of Life – God’s Word – is left out of our lives, we too can become hard and useless in the kingdom of God.

We need the application of God’s Word to soften us, to keep us pliable and useful amidst those with whom we live. Let us never permit the absence of the Bread of Life to make such a sorry difference in our lives.

You may ask “How long might this correcting process take?” That will depend on each individual (you and me).

I remember when Dr. William Culbertson, then president of Moody Bible Institute, once said in chapel service, “Don’t ask God to use you…” What??, I thought. How could he be saying such a thing? Then he added, “Ask God to make you useable and when you are, He will use you.” I’ve never forgotten those words.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6


As a servant in Your vineyard, Lord,
I pray I might be used,
To help some others in Your Way
So they’ll not be confused.

Make me an instrument in Your hand,
Tender, loving and true,
Mold me and make me after Your will,
To be yielding, and usable too.

Elsie K. Young

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