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Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

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Efforts to combat the coronavirus have required some strict measures. In addition to encouraging people to wear masks and practice general habits of social distancing, countries like Jordan have limited our movement. Words like quarantine and lockdown are now part of our regular vocabulary.

At times the lockdown has allowed us to go outside the home for essential things like food and medicine. But at other times it has been more severe, prohibiting movement of any kind. At the beginning, one of the alternatives for having our basic needs met was the government’s effort to bring the food to us. So throughout the city, trucks and buses were enlisted to drive through the neighborhoods and essentially go door to door. One day it was fresh produce. Another day it was bread. Those of us who know the Bible couldn’t help but think of that part of Jesus’ prayer where he taught us to say, “Give us today our daily bread.”

An interesting illustration of daily bread was the manna in the desert that God provided for his people.

Exodus 16:4-5
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

The reason for gathering twice as much on the sixth day was to allow for honoring God on the Sabbath and refraining from work. The reason for only gathering as much as a family needed the rest of the week was to learn to trust God on a daily basis. On these days, the food was only good for that one day, but on the sixth day, it was good for two.

In some countries, where bread is made without preservatives, going out everyday or every other day is not uncommon, so thoughts of daily bread make sense. But for Americans who can buy and store things for days and weeks at a time, being daily dependent on God or anyone is quite unusual and rather uncomfortable.

So, while the world pandemic is forcing us to do things differently, perhaps it is also a good time to learn better how to trust God to be our ultimate provider. Certainly we can pray and ask God for food on the table and enough money to pay our bills, but we can also ask him for inner peace on a daily basis … no matter what challenges the day might bring.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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