Then the Jews began to complain about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:41-51
I have had set backs in my life. We all have. I have been dealing with a back problem that has grounded me, and will continue to keep me grounded for a while. This kind of setback can make me feel defeated, as if I am losing ground. We all have moments in which the life we know is upset, undone or destroyed even. It is normal to want to just give up and to stop trying and believing. An old friend of ours used to say, "some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you!" Life is never smooth sailing or truly in our control. And there is always more life after these losses, more life and possibilities that we can imagine today.
Jesus continues his teaching and some of the religious leaders challenged him. They knew his family and were working to undermine his teaching. We all know folks like that, who out of jealousy or malice, work diligently to undermine our ministries and our work. Jesus reminds us all today that there is more life and life given freely despite the clawing cruelty that others might put on us. Despite physical and spiritual trials we are fed and renewed with life from God.
Today I ask God to help me move from anxiety and struggle to a deeper level of faith and trust. May we live each day with the assurance that there is more life for us ahead, more blessings and more possibilities that we can imagine.