Perfect Provision for our Daily Bread | August 22nd, 2022
Several years ago, Michael and I took a memorable walking tour of Provence and the French Riviera. Strolling through lavender fields, taking cliffside walks overlooking the Mediterranean, and meandering down narrow, cobblestone streets awakened all of our senses.
I especially remember the many bakeries with the aroma of fresh bread lingering in the air. It was quite common to see someone strolling home with their daily bread…a fresh baguette tucked under their arm from the local boulangerie. If you were a wealthy family during the 19th or early 20th century, your daily bread was delivered to your doorstep before you even got out of bed! What a luxury!
In 1933, the “Bread Decree” was written by the French as an attempt to fight the invasion of industrial bread in their country. A few of the rules included:
- French bakeries must make their baguettes on the premises.
- The dough cannot be frozen in any way during the process.
- It must only include flour, yeast, water, and salt. It may not contain any additives or enhancers that can be used to shorten any of the stages in the cooking process.
- The word boulangerie must be used in the name of the bakery to know the bread was not factory-produced.
The downside to these rules meant that the bread would quickly become stale which is why bread was purchased daily.
Our Daily Bread
The longer I live, the more I realize how important it is to rely on God’s perfect provision of fresh, daily bread to supply my needs instead of through my own striving. Jesus taught us to pray this way: Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11) He did not ask us to pray for our weekly bread, monthly bread, or yearly bread. He wants us to come to Him every day to ask for our needs to be met.
Bread symbolizes God’s provision. If we had everything we needed all the time, how easy it would be to feel like we didn’t need God! Because of the way we are made, we all have physiological needs such as food, water, rest, clothing, shelter, and good health. God wants us to seek closeness with Him so we can fully trust Him to care for us, meeting our every physical need by providing our daily bread.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31-33
We also have social / emotional needs satisfied through friendships and intimacy. I recently met a man working as a parking attendant who openly shared with me his need for God’s provision after learning through our conversation that I taught Bible studies. “Would you please pray for me?” he asked. With tears in his eyes he explained, “I feel so lonely. I moved here from Africa several years ago and I’m having a really hard time making good friends.”
I told him I would pray for his need for friendship and encouraged him to seek intimacy with God who deeply desires a close friendship with Him. Much to my surprise, He already had a head start, showing me six Bible apps on his phone that he uses to read God’s Word throughout the day! God understands our need for friendship and made us to be in a rich relationship with Him and with others.
Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. Proverbs 27:9
The daily bread for which I often find myself asking God is to be reminded that my life continues to have meaning and purpose. I rely heavily on the Lord to give me fresh ideas and new tasks to use my gifts for serving others while bringing Him glory as I redeem my time on earth. I don’t want to waste a single moment! Each of us will one day give an account of how we used our time. It is only what we do for Christ that will last for eternity.
We may find our path quickly changing course, depending on our circumstances such as a job or career change, becoming an empty-nester, retirement, or perhaps an unexpected health challenge. No matter what changes take place on our journey, God always has a plan for us as His masterpiece to glorify Him in a fulfilling way with the time He gives us.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
The Bread of Life
Our greatest need is spiritual – for forgiveness from our sin, a restored relationship with God, and abundant life in the present and for eternity. How wonderful to know this need has already been fully satisfied by Jesus Christ, the Bread of life, delivered right to the doorstep of our heart! All we have to do is take and eat.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
There is something so rewarding about biting into a warm baguette from a local French boulangerie…crusty on the outside with a melt-in-your-mouth goodness that must be experienced to fully understand. The same is true when we humbly acknowledge God as the One who gives us everything we need by asking Him for our daily bread. We are rewarded with His amazing goodness to richly supply all that we need, right when we need it.
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