Ball Bearings and Baguettes

Have you ever gone to the hardware store for a loaf of bread? “Of course not” you say, but I bet you have. I know I have, figuratively speaking that is.

I first heard the saying “You’re going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread” a year ago. It really got me thinking.

You don’t go to the hardware store for a loaf of bread because it doesn’t make sense. Everyone knows you don’t find bread at the hardware store. If you go looking for it there you will end up frustrated, disappointed, and empty handed.
If it’s bread you need, go where you are sure you’ll find bread.

I realized I go to the hardware store for a loaf of bread every time I put unrealistic expectations on the people in my life. When I look for them to give me what they do not have to give. Sometimes, not only do I go to the hardware store for a loaf of bread but I refuse to leave when I realize there is no bread. I get angry and resentful that I can’t get what I need from the person that I expect it from.

When I look for affirmation, validation, happiness, and a sense of well-being from anywhere or anyone other than God, I find myself frustrated, disappointed, and empty.

People will always disappoint. God won’t. He wants to provide all that we need and keep us from looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. The bread we need to look for is the bread of life. In John 6:35 Jesus says “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall not thirst.” That’s a promise.

The God I know doesn’t break a promise. So, whatever it is you are hungry and thirsty for look to God to satisfy. Stay out of the hardware store, even if there is an 11% rebate on everything!


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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