Lessons from Daily Bread
Matthew 6:11 – Give us today our daily bread.
Historically, I have been a person who likes to plan and know what is coming around the bend of life.
Lately? Not so much.
I feel like I am just trying to figure out what is a priority for TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not next week. TODAY.
Honestly? It’s a little unnerving for me. I feel like I am not ever quite ready for what is going to happen tonight. Or tomorrow. Or next week. I’m just trying to make it through TODAY.
Maybe Hubby Rick is rubbing off on me. He is the guy who wants to wait until tomorrow to make plans for the day. “You just never know what the weather will be like.”
And so, we wait. See what the weather is like.
There are times I wish we would pre-plan more. We spend too much time trying to decide what to do and when to do it. On those days when nothing is scheduled, it feels like we are not quite sure what to do. Stay home? Go somewhere? Some of both? There are always thing we “miss” because we did not pre-plan. Not everyone can nor wants to wait until the last minute to make plans.
Yet, we can all recall those times when a last-minute decision or plan yielded a very high degree of fun. “If it were not for last minute, what would happen?” is one of Hubby Rick’s mantras.
So, what kind of person do you think Jesus was? A planner? Or a spontaneous last-minute planner? I do not really know. I am confident he did not haul around a paper calendar or Outlook Calendar on his smart phone to schedule meetings and appointments. He was VERY clear with his disciples when he sent them out. “Take nothing with you. Depend on other people’s generosity,” he said. “If you don’t find it, shake the dust off of your sandals and move on.”
Whew. Not much planning here. Those guys did not even know where they were going to sleep tonight. Or where dinner was going to be. Nope, they just figured out as they went along. Great for people like Hubby Rick. No so great for those who want to fill in every hour with what task they will accomplish today.
Our daily lives can be planned out. We’re ready to roll, confident that we might get most of the things on our to-do lists done today.
Until that one phone call pops up and your day just took an unexpected U-turn. A single text message can derail an entire day. All those well-thought-out plans are out the window, and we are operating on-the-fly.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus said when asked how believers should pray.
This day. Daily.
Jesus says there is only one place to focus: today. What we need daily … not what we need tomorrow. Or next week.
Daily bread. Not next week’s bread. Or finances. Or schedule. Or plan. Just today’s needs.
For so many, just focusing on the daily “bread” we need for today is too uncomfortable. We yearn to get ahead of the game. Plan more out. Anticipate what next week’s needs will be. But hear Jesus’ words again:
“Plan just for today’s daily bread.”
It is easy to think Jesus is only talking about food. Some would argue this point. If we only think about our food needs for today, I think we miss the point. “Bread” can be many different things. Substitute whatever takes chunks of your time and energy. Only look at what you will need for today. This is it.
Recently, I completed a very large work project. There is a ton of information that gets formatting and checked and re-checked to make sure it is accurate. It has a quick turn-around time which means there is always a little pressure to get it done faster and more accurate than the last time.
Every year, I anticipate getting more done in advance before the day we receive the information. And yet, too often, I am not prepared as I could be. Yes, this is when mistakes get made. This year, in the final proof that I saw before printing, I quickly noticed small errors in the document. Would anyone else see them? I don’t know. I was disappointed in myself for making these errors and not being more prepared for those few weeks of production.
I felt that I took this “daily bread” thing a little too literally.
Maybe the lesson out of all of this might be this: When we depend upon just ourselves for today’s “daily bread,” we will fail every time. But when we can sit at Jesus’ feet and keep in contact with God about what is most important for today, then we have all the “bread” we need for today.
Even when we do not want to trust God in the process.
Maybe it is less about a pretty calendar or date book or making sure our Outlook calendar is up-to-date. Maybe, it’s just making sure we spend even a couple minutes with the Son who will give us the “bread” we need for today … if we’d only slow down long enough to see it. Jesus has all we need for today. He knows what allotment and type of “daily bread” will be most beneficial for us today.
Too often, I depend upon myself way more than I depend upon Jesus. And this, my friends, is when my “daily bread” needs get way out of whack. I pick the wrong kind of bread and either too much or too little of the pretty looking things rather than taking care of functional needs. I get tired and run down and exhausted because my daily bread does not fill my needs. I like to blame others when it simply comes down to my poor choices.
Daily bread. Daily needs. Given to me by the Son of God. Free of charge if I’d only claim it.
Give us this day our daily bread.
May this be our prayer today and every day.
For daily learning what “daily bread” means to Jesus so I can live it in my life, I am grateful.
Holy God – May I remember that today’s bread will be supplied by You. Just what I need for today. Help me claim it. Amen.
I am joining some other writers in focusing on the word “daily” for today’s blog. Check out the other writers and see their take on “daily!” Check out these posts:
Kids Sleep Meditation: 6 Daily Practice Dos and Don’ts by Ashley Olivine
Oh, I Try by Jessica Weaver
A Day in the Life of a Nurse Practitioner by Amy Cobb
Daily Conversations with God by Sharla Hallett