When I first moved to Europe the summer before my senior year of high school, I thought that bread only came in the white, sliced variety. But within just a few short months, I came to understand that bread comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. It can be sweet, thick, grainy, hard shelled or spicy. And I love them all!
Perhaps that is why I am drawn to that very familiar request in “The Lord’s Prayer,” “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11)
There are two critical components to this short phrase. “Bread”- we all need bread. The term represents the essential elements we need in order to survive. And “Daily”- we need that nourishment every single day. Relentlessly, our bodies crave food in order to live. Regularly we need some kind of “bread.”
Jesus uses that basic truth to teach a very important spiritual lesson. Just like our physical bodies crave nourishment, our spirits crave spiritual input. We must have “bread” to survive physically and we likewise must have spiritual food in order to thrive spiritually.
Unfortunately, though, we often get overwhelmed by our circumstances and fear that His grace won’t be there or it won’t be enough or we won’t recognize it and appreciate its kindness. We often spend our days and nights anxious about whether His grace will indeed “show up.”
There is a cool story that R. C. Sproul told in one of his books about some Korean orphans. Apparently after the Korean War, the children were very anxious about whether or not they would have food the next day. They just didn’t trust their care takers.
“To help resolve this problem, the relief workers in one particular orphanage decided that each night when the children were put to bed, the nurses there would place a single piece of bread in each child’s hand.
The bread wasn’t intended to be eaten, it was simply intended to be held by the children as they went to sleep. It was a security blanket for them, reminding them that there would be provision for their daily needs. Sure enough, the bread calmed the children’s anxieties and helped them sleep.” (from The Power of the Lord)
This week, I am wondering what kind of “bread” you and I need to grasp in our hands just before we head off to bed? What reassurances from God’s Word will help our minds and hearts focus on Him and not on our issues?
“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
“… but give me only my daily bread.” Proverbs 30:8
I love bread!