Renée, my wife of thirty-nine years this October, has been on this journey with me and has really been a trooper. She is constantly experimenting with alternatives like almond flour and coconut flour in order to make something close to what I used to enjoy. As a result, I have had cookies, cakes, and pies all made with almond flour and Truvia (a sweetener made from the Stevia plant). I so appreciate her effort and it all tastes good, but it is never the same as the original. It’s not her fault. A cauliflower pizza crust or one made with almond flour is just not the same. I would not expect it to be. They are substitutes.
Likewise, there is no substitute for Christ. Philippians 4:7 tells us that only in Christ Jesus can we experience God’s peace, which passes all understanding. Galatians 5 reminds us that when we walk with the Lord, “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). The list of ways people seek peace is endless. You can try to fill what is missing in your life with money, drugs, alcohol, or sex, but they are all substitutes. You will never find what you are seeking until you seek Jesus. You may think a bagel made with wheat protein isolates, tastes good, but eat one and then sink your teeth into a genuine Jewish New York bagel boiled in water for a couple of minutes to give it that flavorful, modestly sweet taste, with a chewy, soft, shiny crust. There is no comparison. You simply cannot fake real bagels any more than you can fake true peace, joy, kindness, patience, gentleness and love.
So, if you feel as if something is missing in your life, stop looking elsewhere. Come to Jesus. If you know someone else who is seeking, tell them about Jesus. He promises, “…everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8). Nothing will ever taste as good as the bread of life – Jesus Christ. He – not Coca Cola – is the real thing, and He is carb-free!
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