(Today's guest post is from one of my college roommates. I still love her dearly to this day and think you will be so blessed by her encouragement about what "give us this day our daily bread" means in the midst of the normal mundanes of a mama's life. Thank you, Lindsay. You were a sweet role model for me in college and continue to be that for me years later. -Desiré)
Give us this day our daily bread…
Know here the nature of the life that prays this prayer worthily and sincerely. It is a life that has taken to heart the command to seek first His Kingdom. It is a prayer that knows the difference between bread and the Bread that gives true life. The one it needs, and receives with joy and thanksgiving, but its real hunger is for the other and this is its food by which it knows itself to live. This is therefore a life that has burned its bridges and knows itself each day – one day at a time – to be directly dependent on the provision of its Father. Not merely as an abstract principle, in theory, but really and truly dependent for the needs of this day. If He does not act this day, we will perish. And tomorrow our situation will be the same. And it is a heart that finds in this dependence a greater peace and confidence than any earthly parent, any work contract, and any investment portfolio could promise. This is a prayer that is too quickly prayed by the young before they have got the measure of the sacrifices such a life of faith will bring to them. But pray it and mean it and God’s grace will empower you to live it.
Give us this day our daily bread…
When Desiré and I were at Moody together, one of our favorite professors, Dr. Laansma said these words during a Day of Prayer we had on campus as part of a focused teaching on the Lord’s Prayer. This particular part has been echoing in my mind tons these days. Each day by faith in the God of Life.
My husband and I have been preparing a lecture series through the Gospel of Matthew, and I have been thoroughly challenged, especially as my life has taken a turn from my college days of ambition to my current motherhood days of life with babies and preschoolers. I am amazed how much faith this life of motherhood requires, especially in light of Matthew’s Gospel. Through Jesus’ life and words, he demonstrates throughout the gospel that the nature of His kingdom is entirely different than what everyone in his day (and I mean, everyone) was expecting. The economy of His Kingdom is our world turned upside down: the last will be first, the first shall be last. The “little ones” are upheld as role models, to find our lives we must lose them, and the Coming King is crucified. And, for me, without even realizing what was happening to me, motherhood ripped the rug from beneath me—laying down one’s life for the least now seems a lot more real.
And so, I am thinking about this request, “give us this day our daily bread,” in an entirely new light than I did in college. I used to think about receiving the faith and provision to accomplish great things for the Kingdom in some unreached people group. Right now, I am asking God to help me believe and have real perception into how his Kingdom works, because, if I’m honest, it is hard for me to serve my children in obscurity. Jesus showed us that true life, His life, is found in service and giving up our lives for the sake of others. Give me this day faith to believe that I might find You here, find abundant life here, folding clothes, wiping eight meals a day up off the floor, almost breaking my foot every hour on not-put-away-Matchbox cars, gently instructing time and time again similar lessons like “Please don’t smash your sister’s head into the floor.” You are the God of Life; please meet me here in my little corner of obscurity, and show me the glory of your upside down Kingdom.
He is the Author and Giver of Life, and it’s a promise that we, I, must cling to every day. He is the Giver of Life, when I feel like I’m laying mine down again as I set aside my dreams and my self for others. He is the God of Life when those we know are hurting, and we feel bankrupt of resources to help; we cling to him. When I struggle to believe his promises that the last shall be first, that true life is found in serving the least, that the economy of His Kingdom turns our world upside down, He is the God of Life, supplying all we need for this day. Give us this day our daily bread
Lindsay and Desiré were freshman year roommates at Moody Bible Institute, where Desiré inspired Lindsay to change her major to Applied Linguistics and train for the dream of someday working in Bible translation. From there Lindsay went on to Wheaton College for her master's in Biblical Exegesis. After marrying a fellow Moody grad who also happens to be Canadian, she immigrated North to Calgary, Alberta, where they currently live with their two small children.