I love to eat bread, but I'm not always selective about the type of bread I choose. It’s hard to resist accessible dinner rolls, bagels, or sourdough chunks dipped in olive oil. Consequently, the refined flour and carbohydrates fill me up leaving no room for nutritional foods. Unfortunately, I'm not alone.
On average, Americans eat less than one serving of whole grains per day, yet research shows they consume the equivalent of 122.1 pounds of bread and baked goods each year. We eat pounds of refined bread, but it lacks the nutritional value we need.
Similarly, we try to satisfy our wants with the wrong resources while our soul suffers from spiritual hunger pangs. We need a spiritually fortified alternative—our daily bread.
Our Daily Bread
When Jesus was teaching about prayer, he reminded us to ask, “Give us this day our daily bread,” Matthew 6:11 NASB.
In The Lord's Prayer, Jesus was teaching his followers how to avoid showy appearances of prayer and consider their heart's posture. Although this verse is succinct and short, Jesus knew his followers would need daily bread to carry them into tomorrow.
Our Daily Choice
Our choice to ask for daily bread helps us realize that we have a God who cares and delights in being our provider. It acknowledges our need for God as our sustenance whether we are in a state of deficiency or abundance. He is our inspiration and motivation for a renewed life. Our daily bread becomes our moment-by-moment dependency on God, but it will often challenge self-reliance. If we’re not careful, self-sufficiency can become our default response that leads to stress, worry, and fear.
Our Daily Posture
As I’ve thought about past circumstances and events, I realized how I've tried to help God make life happen. This little verse in The Lord's Prayer taught me humility.
He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the lord, Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB
This world competes for our attention, and often with human effort, we make plans, seek solutions, and protect what means the most to us. We can’t orchestrate God’s plans even when we maximize our resources. The outcome is still an untold story, and the twists and turns of life can catch us off guard causing pain and fear. However, when we ask God for our daily bread, the world becomes small, and we ask for the intangibles that help us serve Him well. God filters out the noise so we can hear His sweet whispers.
Our Daily Companion
Our daily bread satisfies the hunger that quiets stress, worry, and fear because our bread is relational.
Jesus said to them,“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst, John 6:35 NASB
Jesus is our bread of life and daily companion. Jesus modeled prayer with perseverance so we can do the same way. We ask to be one with Him and one with others, and we let him transform our hearts day-by-day as we seek Him.
Our Daily Hope
The next time you hunger for a piece of bread, may you remember the hope we find in a fulfilled soul that seeks spiritual daily bread. Whether we are in need or living in abundance, may we humbly seek God and find our sustenance in Jesus. He is our hope for today and peace for tomorrow.
DeSilver, Drew. “What’s on Your Table? How America’s Diet Has Changed over the Decades.” Pew Research Center. December 13, 2016. Accessed September 15, 2017. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/13/whats-on-your-table-how-americas-diet-has-changed-over-the-decades/.
LD, Megan Ware RDN. “Bread: Is It Good or Bad for You?” Medical News Today. May 30, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295235.php.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.