Russell and Duenes

Our Bread for Today

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Jesus told his disciples to ask for something specific each day, namely, “our bread for today.” Not our bread for next week, or even our bread for tomorrow. Rather, “give it to us, please Lord, just for today.” This makes sense when we consider that Jesus also said: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

But I have never identified terribly much with this particular petition in the Lord’s Prayer, for I have never worried about my food being there for me. In truth, I do not worry about it now, but I do find that just now I am in a unique financial position, at least for me. I had to have surgery earlier this year, and so I have received some unexpected medical bills, on top of our already tight law school budget. The point here is not to complain, but merely to point out that I cannot look down the road 9 or 12 months and know exactly what my financial picture will be.

So as I was walking to work the other day and praying about this, asking for God’s providence which has always been generous, my heart fell upon the words: “Give us today our daily bread,” and they struck me afresh. I considered: “I have bread for today, and that is enough. I trust that I will have bread for tomorrow, but that must be of no concern to me now, for tomorrow is not here yet. I am to go on through my life this way, looking to God each day.”

Now, please do not read this as my saying that all financial planning is bad or unnecessary, or that I’ll be carefree about my finances. But it is simply to say this: God is taking care of me today, and that is all that He has promised to do. And should the days come when God might not provide food for me, then that will not call His goodness into question, but will only tell me that God means to create even greater dependence upon Him, even to the point of death.

So, if I am tempted to say that God is not taking care of me today, then I must reflect on the fact that He is taking care of me, solely by virtue of the fact that I have been able to put food in my mouth today and put clothes on my back. Even St. Paul said, “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” (I Tim. 6:8). And lest we judge God’s care by our circumstances, we ought to remind ourselves that “those who seek the LORD lack no good thing,” (Ps. 34:10), that “no good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly, (Ps. 84:11), that “God works all things together for good for those who love Him, for those who have been called according to His purpose.” (Rom.8:28).

He is providing for me today, and that is enough. My heart rests content.



Written by Michael Duenes

November 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

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