Creating Something New And Fresh From Something Old And Stale

We need to keep our sense of wonder at God's grace. He excels at creating something new and restores value to what was once lost and forsaken.

Creating Something New And Fresh From Something Old And Stale

October 6, 2022

Recently my husband and I shared a meal with friends which featured a freshly-baked French baguette. The first morsel brought back memories of my time in Paris where, for a brief period of time, I lived above a boulangerie (bakery). Each morning my roommates and I would wake up to the sweet aroma of baking bread. With our mouths watering, we would run downstairs and buy our breakfast baguette.

It has been more than thirty years since I lived in France, and I’d nearly forgotten how much I love this staple of French cuisine. But while fresh baked baguettes delight taste buds, stale ones do not. By the next day the bread hardens and becomes almost inedible. 

The French refer to such stale bread as pain perdu, or lost bread. To avoid wasting it, they soften the bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, cream, and sugar. After frying it, the bread becomes something equally delicious. And if that recipe sounds familiar, it’s because in America we refer to this delectable treat as French Toast.

I love the way French people created something exquisite and delicious out of bread which had lost its value and usefulness. And it reminds me of our God who specializes in restoring value and worth to what otherwise would have been lost and forsaken. 

Over forty years ago I came to a crossroad in my life. Although I never grew up reading the Bible and didn’t have faith in God, I did possess my own moral compass. Unfortunately, I began to violate my own morals, ethics, and principles. As a result, my heart became hard, and I grew disillusioned with my life and the world around me. I felt jaded and every bit as stale and hard as an old baguette. 

The Bible assures me I am not alone in this. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Ephesians:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV) 

And while the picture Paul painted seems a bit bleak, he quickly reminded the Ephesians of the saving grace we have in Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5). In fact, Jesus told us He came to seek and save what was lost (Luke 19:10). 

And since all of us have been lost at some point in our lives, Jesus invites us back to His care where we receive healing and a new life

 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV emphasis added)

Not only that, but when we accept His invitation, we become a new creation:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Finally, Jesus gives us a new mission ~ sharing His invitation with others:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)

When I first accepted Jesus’ invitation, I felt such exhilaration over being made new. I couldn’t stop talking to anyone and everyone about Jesus and His invitation to be reconciled with God. But over the last forty years, my excitement has waned. Not to the point of stepping away from my faith. But I can forget the wonder of it all. And when that happens, I forget to be an ambassador for Him. Just today I missed an opportunity to share His invitation with a kind woman who helped me with some financial affairs. 

I’m learning it’s so important for me to look back and remember who I was before Christ. Because remembering brings me back to appreciating His grace. And that never grows old or stale.  

Wherever our life journey leads us, I pray we never forget to marvel at the newness we receive from the One who continues to shepherd our souls.

Creating Something New And Fresh From Something Old And Stale

October 6, 2022

We need to keep our sense of wonder at God's grace. He excels at creating something new and restores value to what was once lost and forsaken.

Recently my husband and I shared a meal with friends which featured a freshly-baked French baguette. The first morsel brought back memories of my time in Paris where, for a brief period of time, I lived above a boulangerie (bakery). Each morning my roommates and I would wake up to the sweet aroma of baking bread. With our mouths watering, we would run downstairs and buy our breakfast baguette.

It has been more than thirty years since I lived in France, and I’d nearly forgotten how much I love this staple of French cuisine. But while fresh baked baguettes delight taste buds, stale ones do not. By the next day the bread hardens and becomes almost inedible. 

The French refer to such stale bread as pain perdu, or lost bread. To avoid wasting it, they soften the bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, cream, and sugar. After frying it, the bread becomes something equally delicious. And if that recipe sounds familiar, it’s because in America we refer to this delectable treat as French Toast.

I love the way French people created something exquisite and delicious out of bread which had lost its value and usefulness. And it reminds me of our God who specializes in restoring value and worth to what otherwise would have been lost and forsaken. 

Over forty years ago I came to a crossroad in my life. Although I never grew up reading the Bible and didn’t have faith in God, I did possess my own moral compass. Unfortunately, I began to violate my own morals, ethics, and principles. As a result, my heart became hard, and I grew disillusioned with my life and the world around me. I felt jaded and every bit as stale and hard as an old baguette. 

The Bible assures me I am not alone in this. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Ephesians:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV) 

And while the picture Paul painted seems a bit bleak, he quickly reminded the Ephesians of the saving grace we have in Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5). In fact, Jesus told us He came to seek and save what was lost (Luke 19:10). 

And since all of us have been lost at some point in our lives, Jesus invites us back to His care where we receive healing and a new life

 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV emphasis added)

Not only that, but when we accept His invitation, we become a new creation:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Finally, Jesus gives us a new mission ~ sharing His invitation with others:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)

When I first accepted Jesus’ invitation, I felt such exhilaration over being made new. I couldn’t stop talking to anyone and everyone about Jesus and His invitation to be reconciled with God. But over the last forty years, my excitement has waned. Not to the point of stepping away from my faith. But I can forget the wonder of it all. And when that happens, I forget to be an ambassador for Him. Just today I missed an opportunity to share His invitation with a kind woman who helped me with some financial affairs. 

I’m learning it’s so important for me to look back and remember who I was before Christ. Because remembering brings me back to appreciating His grace. And that never grows old or stale.  

Wherever our life journey leads us, I pray we never forget to marvel at the newness we receive from the One who continues to shepherd our souls.

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4 Comments

  1. Emmanuelle Jette on October 7, 2022 at 6:10 AM

    Shirley, Tes comparisons et analogies ne cessent de m’émerveiller. Elles nous aident à mieux comprendre Dieu et son message. Cette parabole de la baguette française qui devient dure et du pain perdu me parle beaucoup! Quel plaisir de te lire.💗

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on October 7, 2022 at 10:20 AM

      Merci Emmanuelle. J’apprécie tellement tes paroles aimables et encourageantes. J’aime aussi cette analogie ~ notre Dieu est si gracieux.😘

  2. Beth on October 7, 2022 at 7:32 AM

    As always, the right words at the right time. Jesus through you to me. 🙂

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on October 7, 2022 at 10:21 AM

      Thank you so much, Beth! I appreciate your encouragement. Jesus is so, so, good. 💕

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