Provision in Times of (Potential!) Despair

Have you ever made bread? First, you proof the yeast to see if what you have on hand will still work. If your yeast is good, you’ll most likely have a good loaf of bread. I found a recipe, thanks to a fellow blogger friend, for bread and made a loaf the other day myself.

It was good. There’s nothing quite like freshly baked homemade bread. It gives one’s kitchen an aroma that lasts for easily the next few hours, a sort of signature scent that others can quickly identify. And this was the situation in our kitchen the other day.

Now this wasn’t my first time baking bread, which you would think would have lead me to remember what to do with a homemade, preservative-free loaf of bread. You have to put this baby in the refrigerator or else it spoils much quicker than a store-bought loaf. No sooner than two days after this wonderful baking experience, there was a bit of brown spots on what was left of this amazing loaf of bread.

Now one week later, it’s no wonder how the Lord used this baking experience to remind me of His provision. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 contains a relatively-easily-skipped line: “Give us this day our daily bread.” I don’t think much of this line because the bread we have in our refrigerator from the grocery store will last for weeks. Why would I worry about daily bread—or, admittedly, even monthly bread!—when it lasts on its own just fine thanks to some preserving agent (which could lead to a whole other blog post!)? But when you are living day to day, as the Israelites would, and as we Americans could consider, daily bread is important. Jennifer and I experienced this in France two years ago, where the mold on our bread came much more quickly than those on the loaf I made last week.

No one wants to eat moldy bread. So, Jesus’ inclusion of asking the Father for daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer is quite significant—Jesus teaches us here that the Father is trustworthy for provision in easy and difficult times. He essentially says that if our food, that which sustains us, has a limited shelf life, and if I need it to live on this blue planet, then the God I worship is not only big enough to be able to provide for all my needs but interested enough in the small mundane things as a fresh loaf of bread (French would be my preference, perhaps with some brie and jam).

As we live our lives today, may we remember the ways that God the Father sustains us along the way and gives us a greater sense of who we are in His story.

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