“Give us today our daily bread.”
There is nothing like security. We like feeling secure—the satisfaction of knowing that all of our needs are met, both now and forever. In fact, it can be quite unsettling when facing a mountain of unknowns and unanswered questions. What shall we eat? Where shall we go? Where shall we work? I can imagine that questions like these were at the forefront of the disciples’ minds as they followed Jesus from town to town. Some could describe it as living life on the edge.
For the outsider looking in, I’m sure it seemed like the disciples were living the dream. They were part of Jesus’s entourage, the rockstar and famous miracle worker. Large crowds were the norm, and they were at the epicenter of riveting debates and major occurrences. But the cost of such a thrilling experience was being immersed in a life full of unknowns and uncertainties—with their only hope being their faith that Jesus was indeed deserving of their unending trust.
As I reflect on my journey in Christ there have been numerous times where God required large acts of faith. In fact, I can distinctly remember when the Lord called me to move from D.C. to L.A. I had no connections, no employment opportunities, and no predetermined place of residence, all I knew was that God had called me to relocate. So, in a moment of great faith, I took everything that I owned and set out to a new place on the strength of God’s word to me. While this step of obedience was daunting, it was nothing compared to what God would ask of me next—complete control. Over the next few years, I would come to understand that it was easier for me to trust God in the big moments of life, where I felt that I had no control, than it was to trust him in the areas I had been used to managing. I could trust God to move me across the country with literally no money, but I found it extremely difficult to trust God for my next meal or daily provision.
Suddenly, after my act of great obedience, my life was flooded with unknowns and uncertainties. I had no visible guarantees of any outcomes as a reward for my faith, only the track record that God had never failed me before and the knowledge that he would not start now. I naturally felt that I could trust God if he would just give me the long-term promise, or clue me in on how he would provide food and shelter, not just for the day, but for future days. I wanted stability, and God was responding with short-term commands.
I imagine this reality check was what greeted the disciples when Jesus was teaching them how to pray and he utters the phrase “give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). He was teaching them how to trust God for provision one day at a time. Jesus’s intent was not to promote a lazy lifestyle, but rather to teach his pupils how to trust God for all things big and small. This meant not only waiting for God to supply the daily provision, but also learning to be content with whatever God determined was necessary for the day.
This new level of prayer that Jesus unveiled to his disciples required that they develop a more comprehensive trust in God, and dialogue with God from that place. Perhaps it is time for you to learn how to trust God to handle the big and small things in life—in essence you must learn to trust God for literally all things. Lord, give us this day our daily bread.
God, I know you as the master of the big miraculous things, but I need help to trust you in the areas I believe that I can handle. Teach me to trust your sovereignty and to be content with what you decide to provide for me day by day. In Jesus’s name, Amen.