Our Daily Bread

This morning as I was working at the local soup kitchen in town, I got to work in the dish room.  This piqued my curiosity, because I never get to work in the dish room.  It can be very intense, but at the same time, it doesn’t require a lot of thought, so your mind is free to go where God leads it.  I know that when I get to work there, it means that God has something to show me.

So as I went about my tasks of dumping and washing the trays for our three hundred or so guests today, God brought to mind part of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically, Matthew 6:11: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

This made me think, because while we may pray for our daily bread, in reality, often times we don’t want it.

Let me explain what I mean.  By asking for our daily bread, we are asking for exactly that – what we need for today.  We are asking to have enough – food yes, but so much more. We’re asking for enough faith – for today.  We’re asking to be shown what we need to know – for today.  For enough strength – for today.  For enough grace – for today.  To see His plan – as much as we need for today.  By praying and asking God for our daily bread, we are asking Him that no matter what the day holds in store, that He will provide what we need – for today.  Not tomorrow.  Not the next three months.  For today.

Much like He did for the Israelites.

And yet, like the Israelites, we complain.  We try to secretly hide our manna under our pillows, in our cabinets, in the fridge.  And when we go to pull it out the next morning, what do we find?  A stinky, maggoty mess.

I’m not talking about finances though, or possessions.  I’m talking about faith.

By God commanding the Israelites to gather their manna every day, He was both asking them to trust Him, as well as telling them – I am trustworthy.  He’s telling them – you don’t need to worry about tomorrow.  Just trust Me.  I will provide.

But it’s hard to trust Him sometimes!  Especially when we can’t see where He’s leading us, or things don’t make sense to us.  We don’t want to take risks.  We want to know where He’s leading us before we put the first foot forward.  Or at least shortly thereafter.

Believe me, I know.  I can be the same way sometimes.  It can be hard to step out in faith, not knowing where He’s leading us.

At the same time, it’s incredibly easy.  Because He is Trustworthy.

God tells us that He has wonderful plans for our lives.  He reminds us that He knows us intimately, that He loves us massively.

But, why doesn’t God just show us the big picture right away?  I mean, that would be easier, right?  Actually, it wouldn’t be. He knows that we couldn’t handle it, and so out of love, He shows us what we need – for today.  Sometimes that’s a glimpse down the road a bit; other times, it’s just the next place to put our foot down.

As I was thinking about that, He brought lottery winners to mind.  Depending on where you look, estimates are that between 35% and 75% of lottery winners go bankrupt within 15 years.  How is that possible?  It’s simple – rather than having “enough,” the sudden windfall is too much for them to handle.  They can’t deal with it.  And rather than being able to live comfortably, or help others, they lose everything.

It’s the same way in our lives.  We can’t handle seeing all of the big picture at the same time – He knows that if He were to reveal everything to us, to provide it all for us, all at the same time, we simply could not handle it.  And so out of love, God only gives us “enough.”  And asks us to only take “enough” and to trust Him that He will provide.  Enough.  Each day.

And so, if you’re struggling, if you can’t see where He’s leading you, don’t understand the path that He has you on, if He’s asking you to take a step out in faith, even a blind step, remember – you are precious to Him.  He is trustworthy.  He will always give you what you need.

For today.