What is our daily bread? Is it the daily devotional I saw on a table in the church I grew up in? Is it a spiritual metaphor? Is it a reference to ‘the Lord’s prayer?’ The answer is yes, yes and yes. The bigger question is: why does it matter?
The ones who read my blog post – ‘Cancer Sucks – You don’t‘ – know a little about my family’s run-in with cancer. Because of that blog post, it has given people courage to share their story. Thank you for that – it is in our stories that we can have hope and confidence. Also, some have asked for an update. Here ya go: Because of other findings, my sister did not have a double mastectomy as planned. After a long month of tests, scans and the fear of the unknown, she has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Aggressive chemo was scheduled but has since been canceled due the wide-spread nature of the cancer. She is doing palliative care. I write those words with an aching heart knowing that without a miracle my sister’s time on this earth is limited. That being said, although my sister may be terminal, she is fully alive. I have seen a joy and hope and peace arise in my sister that is nothing short of a miracle itself. It has been placed deep within her by Christ himself. Does she and will she have rough days? Of course but her confidence is not in what is seen but unseen – the daily bread!
Recently, Jen and I attended a worship night at Crossroads Church . The theme of the night was focused around the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ The theme song was Breakthrough . As we sang and prayed – we came to the part that read, “… give us this day our daily bread…” (Matthew 6:11). I cannot say I heard it audibly but it was clear within my mind and heart; these words – “I promised you daily bread. It is all you need.” Those words have saturated and sustained my soul for the past few weeks.
You see, since finding out the diagnosis about my sister, I was anxious for what the future held for our family. I was projecting 2, 3, or even 6 months into the future. At the worship night I referenced above, God tenderly spoke to me the truth that his promise is for daily provision – not a projection into the future. My anxiety comes when I start worrying about future events that may or may not happen. As I re-focused on ‘the daily bread’ of my life, I was able to ‘replace the what if’s‘ that cause not only anxiety but frustration. A few scriptures that came to mind: (1) Matt. 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” (2) Lam. 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…” (3) Ex. 16:4, “…the people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day…” (4) John 6:35, “…Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry…”
Of course we want more than the daily bread – it is our human nature to do so b/c we think we will not have enough or be enough. But what happened when the Israelites gathered more than they needed? It went bad – it spoiled and rotted! What happens to our mind, emotions and eventually our bodies if we continually have anxiety, worry and frustrations about future events (that may or may not happen)? Yep, you guessed it; they spoil – go bad, if you will, and affect our health and the health of our families.
Every day has the potential to be average or awesome. Either way, can we learn to pray…give us this day our daily bread and know (really know)…enough for the day is really enough? In his sermon, ‘Deepest Prayer,‘ J. Piper puts it this way, “The Lord’s Prayer is very true to life in this sense. Life is a combination of spectacular things and simple things. In almost everyone’s life there are breathtaking things and boring things. Fantastic things and familiar things. Extraordinary things and ordinary things. Awesome things and average things. Exotic things and everyday things. That’s the way life is.”
And as I commonly like to do, I have made an acronym for DAILY.
1. D - Delight. But first you have to have the desire. “Delight yourself in the Lord…”(Ps. 37:4)
2. A – Awareness. “Be on guard…” (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Cor. 16:13)
3. I – Intimacy. This takes intentionality and consistency. ”Abide in me and I in you…” (John 15:4-5)
4. L - Listen. Two ears, one mouth. “Be quick to listen…” (James 1:19)
5. Y – Yes. This requires learning to say no. “All His promises are Yes…” (2 Cor. 1:20, Matt. 5:37)
May you never go hungry again!