“God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hand we all are fed, thank you Lord for our daily bread. *Amen!“ (*shouted enthusiastically with both hands raised)
I remember when we taught my daughters this cute little prayer. I can also remember when I was a kid and used to pray it with my family. Most recently I remember praying this “blessing” with my girls over Christmas break. I am sure that its been around generations. A timeless prayer, indeed.
In addition to the emphatic way they like to say “Amen” my daughters got in this funny habit of asking, “Is THIS my daily bread?” Taking the prayer literally they would sometimes be confused if there was not a piece of bread on their plate. I contemplated whether or not to explain that “daily bread” referred to any food that we are fortunate to eat that day. It also represents that our God is loving enough to provide for our every daily need. He is the most powerful being in the universe but also cares about each and every one of His children. But instead of trying to explain that concept to a three year old, we usually just said, “Yep. Now eat up before your daily bread gets cold!”
I have really grabbed hold of the “daily bread” concept as of late. Taking life one day at a time (though cliche) has never been more applicable for me than now. Some days taking it one hour at a time has been more accurate! At the same time I have been guilty of something many Christians do all too often. I’m not satisfied with what God is giving me. If He gives me peace for that day I ask for more joy or for Him to take away the sadness. If He is healing my heart that week, I am asking for Him to quickly mend relationships that have been shattered. Without realizing it I am focusing on what God can do for, and give me rather than just focusing on God. Trusting His timing is always a struggle.
Instead of reaching out for his comforting hand, I am reaching for a handout.
Instead of focusing on His hands, I should be focusing on His face.
Yes its great when God chooses to bless us. Our faith grows each time it occurs. For me though I am realizing what I really need is Him, not His blessings.
“All we need is need.” – Flannery O’Conner
Another misconception I struggle with is the idea that we have to earn our daily bread. My girls would never think that they had to do something to please their mom or dad to get dinner that night. Their seat at the dinner table will always be secure. Why? Because they are my child. Nothing they do can change that. If they are not at the table its not because we don’t want them its because they choose not to come. The only thing they really need is hunger. If they don’t desire to eat then they might not come to dinner. They don’t need to bring anything else to the table besides that. It’s that simple.
It’s also that simple with God. We overthink it all too often. I think, “Well, since my sin is so great, I must work hard to get back into His good graces. I must earn my seat.” Nope. All I have to do is admit I am in need. Admit I am powerless and I cannot do it anymore by myself. Like my daughters, I lack the ability to feed myself so therefore left to my own devices I will surely die! All I need is need.
All I have to do is show up and God does the rest, hence the daily bread.