Monday, January 18, 2016

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

(Artist Unknown)

It is drilled into our heads, enforced with every commercial, and it is becoming a god, an idol we sacrifice so much for.
The Future.
We must plan for it, work towards it, and seek the better for it.
We must stock our larders, diet to be thin by bikini season, plan for retirement, save for college.
We will start that diet tomorrow.
We will finish that chore tomorrow.
We will call mom tomorrow.
Things will be better next year.

So, it came as a surprise when after lamenting to my friend (again) about tomorrow, she quoted the passage from The Lord's Prayer and told me to just get through today.

Oh, how it stuck with me.
And it struck me just how different God's way can be from the world's way.

"But God, we HAVE to plan for the future!  It's good to do so.  Ant and Grasshopper and all that."
I don't think God argues that point.  He has some sharp words for the sluggard, the busybody, and the infidel of a man who doesn't care for his family.

Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air:  they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? 
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:  they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious saying, "what shall we eat?" or "what shall we wear?"  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Sometimes we find ourselves at difficult times in our lives, especially financially.  Severe illness, job loss, natural disaster, false accusations, emergencies can put us in very difficult circumstances.  Many times it is a very difficult pit to get out of, especially if it is long term, or something like a chronic illness, or economic recession.  Even our hardest efforts yield very little return.

It can seem hopeless and stressful.
Our savings account empties, and all we hear is "build up an emergency fund."
With WHAT?!
We pinch every penny and stretch every bit of everything we have.
And we are told to give up our luxuries.
What luxuries?!
You cupboards empty.  Your fuel runs low.  Your clothes wear out.  Your bills pile up.

The world doesn't understand.  Many Christians don't even understand and offer pat advice or criticisms akin to Job's friend in the Book of Job.

But God understands.
And God is not the world.

The world's answers aren't His answers.

Why do you think Jesus prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread?"
Why do you think He said not to be anxious about tomorrow?

The Israelites wandered in the wilderness and wanted food.
God gave them manna.
Every day, and just enough for the day. (Extra on the day before Sabbath.)
Just enough for the day.
Did you get that?  Just enough for the day.

There is the story of the widow and her son and Elijah.
The widow was preparing her last meal with her son before resigning herself and him to dying of starvation.  In walks Elijah and he says to feed him, instead.
She does, and God blesses her with enough flour and oil to get through the day.
Enough for the day.

There are always worries and concerns for the future.
Instead, I have been asking God for our daily bread, our just enough in the morning, and thanking Him in the evening for getting us through the day with enough.

One day at a time with our eyes on God.
It's so much more simple than worrying about the future.

1 comment:

Amy M said...

Amen. I'm definitely guilty of spending way too much time worrying about the future, but this is a good reminder.