Bread is one of the most basic, universal, and essential foods. It has been called the “staff of life” from ancient times. On Israel’s 40 year trek through the desert wilderness they were sustained by manna, the “Bread of Angels”. Jesus and the disciples satisfied over 5,000 very hungry people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Bread is such a basic necessity that many people refer to their employment as the source of their “bread and butter”. Even currency itself is sometimes called “bread”. “Got any bread on ya man?”
It’s this latter meaning of the word that we think of when we pray some of the words the Lord taught us to pray in the “Lord’s Prayer”, “Give us this day our daily bread…” We do this because we know that the Lord cares about our daily needs and has promised to provide for them. If you are like me, you may find yourself praying this with more fervor whenever the bills are due!
A few days ago I was in prayer for a number of things and without realizing it began to pray the “Lord’s Prayer”. This was a bit out of the ordinary because I do not make it a regular practice. In hindsight I realize that should’ve been a tipoff to me that the Lord was about to reveal something new to me. Have you ever noticed how He has a wonderful way of steering your actions or conversation, even with Him into a teaching moment?
As I was praying “Give us this day our daily bread” and going into detail as to what I had in mind by that, the Holy Spirit interrupted my train of thought. He brought my attention to an incident in the life of Jesus from John chapter four. Jesus had been speaking to the woman at the well while the disciples were dispatched to town to purchase food (undoubtedly including bread) for their and Jesus’ lunch. They return just as the woman is about to leave to go into town to tell everyone of her encounter with this man who told her everything she had ever done! Once she goes the disciples get ready to chow down and say to Jesus, “Mangia Lord, eat! We brought some bread and kosher salami for you.” Jesus looks at his hungry, salivating followers and says, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” “What?” says Peter “Did any of you guys leave Him a power bar?” As you can imagine, this caused a bit of stir in the traveling band. Jesus then seized the teaching moment to try and bring them to a higher level. “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” (v.34)
All of a sudden I joined the disciples. This became my teaching moment with the Lord too. In that moment I realized why the Holy Spirit had brought this story to mind. Bread is not just provision for my needs. It is also my being provision for another’s needs. Put another way, my daily bread is first my assignment for the day and then in fulfilling that assignment I also receive the other bread, my provision. Light bulbs went off in my cranium! Thank you Lord! My bread, like with Jesus, is to do the will of Him who sent me, whatever that is for the day. As I do that, He promises to take care of me and supply my daily needs. Now I recognize that when I pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” I’m asking for something much bigger than I ever saw before. And the cool thing is He will give me both!
Fellow Mountain Taker, let’s pray each day both to be the daily bread for another, as well as to receive our daily bread from our loving heavenly Father.
Have a great week on your Mountain!