Give us today our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
Most, if not all, of us know where to find our daily bread. If it’s not in the kitchen or pantry, we can get in a car and drive just a few minutes to any one of several stores, each of which has more loaves of more varieties of bread than much of the world can imagine. We know the source of our daily bread, don’t we? Not necessarily.
The Old Testament Book of Exodus tells us how God provided the people of Israel with manna (bread from heaven) each day for 40 years while they were wandering in the wilderness. If you have a few minutes, you can read about it in Exodus 16. In addition to meeting their obvious need for food, God used the daily delivery of manna to remind His people of their constant need to depend on Him. He provided them with the amount of food they needed each day, no more and no less. They truly had to depend on Him for their daily bread.
We, too, need to be reminded of our continual dependence on God. That’s a major reason why Jesus tells us to ask God for our daily bread. Whether it’s bread or meat or the money to buy our food, we are dependent on God, even when we don’t realize it.
Hurricane Sandy reminded us that we can’t take for granted that we’ll always have easy access to daily bread, electricity, clean water, and so on. An unexpected layoff or salary reduction may awaken us to the fact that our jobs aren’t as secure as we thought. We take good health for granted until a routine physical uncovers an unexpected problem.
Yes, we almost always know where to find our daily bread. But, the local grocery store is not the ultimate source of our daily bread; God is. Jesus wants us never to lose sight of the fact that God is the One who provides for our needs, and we should continually express our dependence on Him. Jesus wants us to bring our needs to our Heavenly Father every day, including something as basic as our daily bread.