“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
In ancient days, God fed his people with manna: bread from heaven that appeared each morning with the dew. Each day, they could only gather enough for that day, because any excess would rot overnight. Hoarding was not only prohibited but also impossible. Centuries later, Jesus taught His followers to pray, not for lottery winnings or fat 401(k)s or even a week’s worth of provisions, but for “daily bread.” During his time on earth, Jesus chose to live in poverty. His human family was not well-off. As an itinerant rabbi, he depended on the hospitality of strangers and the financial support of several wealthy women (see Luke 8:1–2) and other benefactors. He trusted that His heavenly Father would provide daily bread.
Daily bread is so, well, daily. There’s not a lot of security in it. You have to be grateful each day, and then get up the next day and say, “Do it again, God!” You have to learn to live with a manna mindset. It is at once frightening and exhilarating, scary and joyful.
You have to pray for that bread (or mortgage payment) each day, and trust that it will be provided, that there will be enough. To pray for daily bread is to be willing to gather only enough manna for this day. In our self-indulgent world, “enough” is a powerful but unpopular word. And yet, it is a word of freedom.
What’s true of physical resources is true of spiritual resources as well. Each day, we must ask for and receive spiritual nourishment, and trust that Jesus will provide enough love, enough strength, for us to continue our journey of trust with Him.
Faith step: Ask Jesus to give you a manna mindset—and enough of whatever it is that you need this day: love, strength, money, food. Thank Him for knowing your needs and generously meeting them. —Keri Wyatt Kent