Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Daily Bread: God's Provision

One of my earliest memories was being taught to say grace before meals. Sometimes it seems like just a routine, a habit that doesn't mean a whole lot. But thinking about this line in the Lord's Prayer, God is telling us that He made us to need Him at least three times a day. He could have made us to not need to eat every day, or to need to eat constantly like some of His creatures. But what does it take for us to have our "three squares"?

For one, God made an earth on which things grow. There is an amazing abundance of different things that God's green earth provides for us. Some of them we can eat right off the vine, but most of them require some effort on our part, and the effort can be a pleasure in itself. God does not drop sustenence in our face, we are responsible to pick it or raise it or cook it or what ever it takesl
I am reminded that the ancient provision for the poor was for Israelite farmers to leave produce on the edges of the field for those without land of their own to gather for their families. It's another example that God provides, but expects us to be responsible for each other.

This is life on a very fundamental level. Ultimately, a good deal of what fills our day is related to our need for daily bread. But even those things that are not immediately related to this need are provided, at their best, by the providence of God. That's a question for us: are the things we do daily worthy of a child of God? Being imperfect beings, we waste time and effort on useless or bad stuff, but we should strive to make the best of the ultimate provision of God: 24 hours each day.

Another side of God's provision is confidence: He tells us not to worry, that the Father that takes care of flowers and birds in beauty takes care of us as well. It's hard not to worry.It seems like a responsible thing to do; to take charge of taking care of ourselves. But our efforts are not as good as His. I had another flat tire on the way to work last week; we found a piece of box knife blade in the tire. I realized that I was not far from the warehouse of a customer I occasionally have delivered parts to. So I gave him a call, and he came to help, but I didn't have the right lug wrench in the car and he didn't have the right one with him either. So he went back to see what he could find, and while we were waiting a total stranger with a Psalm 91 t-shirt drove up and asked if we needed help. And he had the right wrench and got our tire changed; when I called the other guy he wasn't on his way back yet. My friend Maria who was with me commented that our attempts to deal with it were what didn't work; what God provided did the job.

There is an old saying, "Life is so daily!" We are blessed that God's provision is daily as well.

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