“We acknowledge You as our Provider of all we need each day.” ~ Matthew 6:11 (TPT)
139 days. Roughly, 4.5 months.
Yup, that’s how long it has been since life as we knew it morphed into a new normal of social distancing, face masks, quarantining and Covid. Public restrictions on how life should be lived privately have sucked the life out of life (or is that just how I feel?). So much in this world doesn’t make sense right now, but as a follower of Jesus I have hope for the return of Christ and the coming of a world far greater than the one I am existing in.
Existing is how I’ve been living for the last 139 days. I’ve found myself surviving when I was previously in a season of thriving. Even though I begin most of my days soaking in God’s Word, I still feel like I am hanging on a thread. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I am drained…I know I am not alone. I’ve had enough. I am more than ready for “this” to be over but I know these days are a part of my life for a reason. I know I was placed in this generation for a purpose. I, like you, am created for a time such as this.
Deep down, I want more from the days of the present, but I heard a whisper the other day reminding me the present is a present. Sure, things don’t make sense right now but did they ever really? I’m frustrated in this season and I want to return to the normal chaos of life, but right now, today, in this moment, I know God is providing for my every need each and every day I am gifted life on earth. I may not know what I need each day, but God does, and He gives it to me. Always. I just may be too blind, busy or burdened to recognize it.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, reveal who You are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.” ~ Matthew 6:11 (MSG)
Too often we don’t see the bread placed in front of us because we’re looking for something else to feed our hungry bellies. Or perhaps we do smell the bread resting on the counter but choose to push it aside in ignorance rather than receiving it with gratitude.
We grumble. We’re sick of this bread, we’ve been eating it for too long. We want something different. Something better. Something more indulgent or filling.
We long for a Ruth’s Chris steak instead of a Panera Bread baguette.
The thing is, we used to love that baguette. It used to be the pull driving us to the overpriced bakery and sandwich shop. Yet today, in our contempt, we’d rather leave that baguette on our plate instead of enjoy it for the deliciousness that it is.
Like the Israelites in the desert, we complain about what we have because we long for something more or something other than what we have (or are experiencing). Too easily we forget about all that God has given us. Our God provides for our daily needs with exactly what we need for each day. Nothing more, nothing less.
“Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—” ~ Matthew 6:11 (VOICE)
God didn’t give the Israelites more than they needed because He desired they depend on Him every day for the needs of that particular day. He didn’t give them less than what they needed because He wanted them to experience His love for satisfying their every craving and knowing their every need. (Note: need not want.) He knew their hunger would return in the morning and they’d need to be fed again. You know what? That next day, He would feed them.
In the desert, God gave the Israelites manna, which literally translated to, “what is it?” Manna was food that would physically sustain them while spiritually representing a need for them to be fed each day with the fulfilling goodness of all God has to offer. Soul food.
God never broke His promise to provide for His people back then and He won’t break His promise to provide for us now (ref: Numbers 11). We may not agree, welcome or receive this current season but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile or should be a chapter wasted in our grand story of life. This “desert” place may be time gifted to you to slow down and enjoy the journey, detour onto another path, or stop and rest. Whether we like it or not, this time is part of our time on earth and it, like all things, will be over before we know it.
God gives us the food we need each day for the day we are facing. The food may look like an overdue nap, quality time with family, an empty calendar, distance from a toxic relationship, less striving and more high-fiveing, or maybe the development of a new hobby or interest that could become the seedlings that plant and produce a much bigger purpose. Whatever it is, take it. Receive it with hands wide opened and savor it.
Tomorrow it will be gone, but with God something new always awaits.