You Can’t Get Bread From A Hardware Store

2 May

This year, I’ve watched two friends go through divorces. Even to the observer, the pain of this is excruciating. As I’ve listened, I’ve witnessed each friend struggle with accepting his new reality.

All  humans resist dramatic change. We kick and scream when we see it coming and howl when we have no control. How can what was once so certain and part of day-to-day life now be gone? How can affections be here today and gone tomorrow? Why does the sun rise and set? Why does life include pain and why do good things have to end?

I have absolutely no answers. I only know that from the outside looking in, we cause ourselves tremendous pain when we refuse to let go. When we expect things to be different than the way they are, we ultimately hurt ourselves.

We have no control over people, places, and things. The only thing we have control over is ourselves.

Years ago I heard a phrase that beautifully sums up our very human tendency to effort change in places we can’t. The saying is, “You can’t get bread from a hardware store.”

Whenever you want someone to give you something that he or she simply isn’t capable of, you have to remind yourself that you’re shopping in the wrong place. The hardware store is not bad because it doesn’t provide bread. In fact, if you’re working on a home improvement project, the hardware store is great! Yet if you’re hungry, you need to find a bakery or grocery store.

I am also reminded that at the end of the day, no one can really satisfy our deepest needs. Jesus said, “”I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” If we’re turning to other people to be our bread – to be our life, we will always be hungry. When we finally turn to what satisfies, we find that we no longer have intense hunger pains.


The Serenity Prayer – Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.




2 Responses to “You Can’t Get Bread From A Hardware Store”

  1. newheavenonearth May 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Really good! Thank you! I realized I was looking for God in my husband and I was always disappointed. Now after God found me and lavished me with Love day after day, I am never disappointed! It is new every morning! May you be filled with our Father’s Love, poured in your heart by the Holy Spirit!

    • lisesletters May 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      Thank you so much for sharing. This is really validating.

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