Sleep on This: The Bread Chronicles‚Äîa Father‚Äôs heart (May 8)
Good evening, friend.
I managed to pace myself. I gave one of my inaugural loaves away and sliced the other one as thinly as possible so as to expand that single loaf’s provision and to NOT expand my waistline as quickly. But, as I munch my way toward the vestigial heel of that bread, I am preparing myself for Act 2 in my baking career…and we are wrapping up this week of nightly reflections upon the “staff of life.”
So let’s turn to the most familiar “bread” passage in the Bible. Remember this one? “Give us this day our daily bread.” There it is; a simple request for the most basic need of life tucked right into the middle of what we call the “Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus invites us—urges us—to ask God for bread. Daily…bread.
This harkens back to manna. If you’ll recall, as the Jews wandered in the wilderness, the Lord provided manna every morning. Each day, they would find the ground covered with what we take to be some sort of a flour product. Every day. Like clockwork.
This daily gift not only sustained God’s people, it reminded them of his provision for them; his generous heart toward them. (Of course, they soon grew weary of Manna and pined for Egypt where they could munch on cucumbers—as the taskmaster flayed their backs. Ahhh—those were the days!)
Of course, we don’t need to ask for daily bread anymore. We don’t need God’s help with that. We have money. We can buy our bread. We only need to pray for the hard stuff; the stuff that we can’t take care of on our own. But praying for bread? Come on!
Too close to the bone, right? When was the last time you actually asked God to provide for your daily bread? Too bad. For one thing, this simple prayer is a reminder that everything…EVERY single thing we possess is a gift from God. How terrible to take for granted the persistent graces of God’s care for us!
But here’s something else we forget: God loves us to ask…because God loves to give! In another place, Jesus reminded his listeners that no earthly father would give a stone to his son when he asked for bread or a serpent when he asked for a fish…because good fathers love their children and WANT to give them good things. How much more, then, does our heavenly father want to give good things to his children. Even simple things. Like bread. Because…he…LOVES…us.
If this COVID moment makes us more mindful of every blessing we enjoy…and more mindful of the loving heart of our heavenly Father who delights in giving those things to us…well, that will be a wonderful life lesson etched into our souls.
Lord, as I lay me down to sleep, I thank you for the simplest things that I enjoyed today and which I too often take for granted. All these kindnesses are a gift poured out from your loving heart. Thank you! And please, will you give me bread tomorrow, too? Amen.