My Daily Bread
Today in church, Pastor Chris preached on the acronym P-U-S-H. Pray until something happens. He spoke about how for all of us, God’s provision in our lives is an ongoing struggle. Ever since the fall back in the garden, we have continued to worry,fret, and agonize over whether we personally will have enough. Whereas in the Garden of Eden we had it all, ever since it has been a source of stress and a cause for war. We worry about whether we will have enough of what it is we feel will complete us, make us happy, make us content. Money, power, love, approval, sex, stuff-more and more stuff. From the moment we watch our toddlers fighting over the same toy it is clear that as a species most of us struggle with this issue of provision and how much is enough.
My reading earlier today took me to 1 Kings 19:3-7. Here we see the prophet Elijah fresh from an amazing time of spiritual victory. He had just defeated the prophets of Baal in a most spectacular contest. (Read 1 Kings 18 if you are not familiar-it is a wonderful chapter)
And as if that were not enough, he had also prayed for rain after 3 long years of devastating drought. The rain came in a mighty storm that was clearly an answer to his prayer.
How energized and ready to take on the world Elijah must have felt after these events! Wouldn’t you just want to shout from the mountain top “MY GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!”
And yet we read that in fact what Elijah does is lay down beneath a tree and pray to God for no more. He tells God he has had enough, he wants to give up, to die even! He is all out of fight.
This hit me hard this morning. I realized that no matter how successful we are in our spiritual battles, or in the work we are called to do for the kingdom- we will get tired. We will get discouraged. We will need sustenance for the next battle or challenge we face.
For Elijah, the Angel of the Lord came to him and provided him with bread and water. The angel told him to eat and drink because if he didn’t, the journey ahead would be too much for him.
Fast forward to church this morning and how these 2 things relate. As I listened to Pastor Chris teach about how we pray in what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”, I realized something.
God’s provision and our need for it is a daily thing. In the NLT bible it reads ” give us each day the food we need”. This tells us that we can’t store this daily provision, this daily bread, this life sustenance–up in advance. It’s not going to work to pray really hard today and then not need to pray again for a month. Oh sure, you can try it, but like physical food we need it regularly to really have strength and energy.
In spite of being a spiritual superman, Elijah needed bread and water to fuel him for the journey ahead. You and I need that too. We need our bread and water daily to fuel us for our journeys, our struggles. The bread and water we need is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. Provisions our Lord Jesus Christ is only too happy to generously give us when we come to him in daily prayer.
So if you are tired, worn out, and not sure how to muster up the strength and courage to face the next struggle–remember Elijah. And then go in prayer to Jesus. He longs to provide you with your daily bread. All you have to do is believe.