When a government official outlawed sliced bread in January of 1943, homemakers balked. The onset of World War II had introduced rationing as early as 1942, and they had learned to use coupons when purchasing paper, shoes, fabric, sugar, coffee, and metal. However, they had purchased pre-sliced bread for almost fifteen years and hated the inconvenience. Women attempted to comply. They yanked out ancient bread knives and butchered loaves for sandwiches and toast. However, lopsided bread annoyed everyone. Plus, irregularly shaped slices didn’t fit into the toaster. A saying went around the nation: “…the best thing since sliced bread.”
Adding to the frustration, government officials offered no clear-cut reason why sliced bread had created a problem. Machines for cutting bread already existed, so the ban wouldn’t save metal. Sliced bread required more wrapping to stay fresh, but the nation had no shortage of waxed paper. A lady wrote to the New York Times and grumbled that the ruling damaged national morale. Complaints erupted nationwide, and the officials withdrew the restriction about six weeks later. They claimed the prohibition ineffective.
In March 1943, Housewives purchased sliced bread gratefully. In the same way, I have a tendency not to be grateful for a dry basement until I have a leak. And I didn’t thank God for my freezer until all my food thawed. This year I’ve had to replace my freezer and repair a basement leak. The Lord is teaching me to be grateful. Look around your house today and find things to praise God for. I’m doing the same thing.
Psalm 140:13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to Thy name; The upright will dwell in Thy presence (Ps. 140:13 NAS)