Part of the Lord’s Prayer (as recorded in Matthew) has the line:
Give us this day our daily bread.
It’s a simple part of a simple prayer. We ask for this day’s bread. Not next week’s, not even tomorrow’s. Just ask for today. It’s so simple.
But I find it so hard to do.
My brain automatically want to think about next year’s bread. Just considering this day’s bread isn’t enough. I have to know that it will be there in the future.
Jesus knew this was a problem for us. Just a bit further along in Matthew (6:25-34), He says in this oft-quoted passage:
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”
I apparently am apt at finding passages that end with that phrase. I suppose it’s because that tends to be the root of my problems: I lack the faith that God provides everything that I need – whether situations, physical needs, people – at the appointed time in my life. It’s all because I don’t trust Him as I should that I wander.
Don’t you feel exhausted thinking the future and today? Our minds and emotions are only really capable of thinking about the problems and needs of one day. Jesus suggest that we combat this by letting our peace be in the fact that God the Father knows what we need and that we should pursue Him first:
31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Each day has enough trouble of its own. Worrying about what I think I need in the future compounds the problems of this day and of this moment. As these verses demonstrate, our needs for tomorrow are already met. God the Father knows them and has already planned for them.
We need only to ask for this day’s bread.