Give us this day our daily bread
In our current economic environment people seem to be working harder than ever. More people are competing for fewer jobs. Our husbands willingly work overtime to make up for cutbacks, and at home there is pressure to stretch things farther and work harder than before.
Although many may long for physical and emotional buffer in life, at times it seems hard to come by.
As helpmeets we'd like to know that we have more in the bank that just today's or this weeks provision.
As homeschoolers we'd like more wisdom and greater visibility into the future than just what we need to handle today's issues.
And as moms we'd like to know that our children's futures are safe. Yet with every news report we feel an added sense vulnerability to many things that seem completely out of our control. But God.
God has not given us a spirit of fear.
-2 Timothy 1:7
As we look at the waves around us we can be sure that He has- and always will be- over all creation (Matthew 14:29-31).
If we find Him leading us into a season of daily manna gathering (Exodus 16:4), we can trust it is to teach us the beauty of daily dependence on Him.
There are times our souls need to be retaught the truths of His character- how He faithfully and tenderly He cares for His sheep- and as we experience His provision in various ways our hearts remember that we are safe in trial.
GOD WILL SUPPLY
Have you read the account of George Muller's life and ministry recently? His example of faith is such an encouraging one.
One morning, while caring for hundreds of England's orphans, George was told it had finally happened.
There were times when God had provided a years worth of provisions through the hand of a single donor and times when things had been hand to mouth, but this morning the worst had come and there wasn't a thing to feed the children for breakfast. Certainly this was the time to fear. But we read George's response:
"George stood up. 'I'll take care of it. Just give me a minute," he said.
Before going to the dining room at Number One Orphan House, George walked out into the garden. 'Abigail, Abigail, come here,' he called. (Abigail was his assistant's young daughter who had become like a granddaughter to George and his wife, Mary.)
Abigail ran up to him. 'What is it?' she asked.
George reached down and took her hand. 'Come and see what God will do,' he said as he escorted her into the dining room.
Inside they found three hundred children standing in neat rows behind their chairs. Set on the table in front of each child were a plate, a mug, and a knife, fork and spoon. But there was no food whatsoever to be seen. George watched as Abigail's eyes grew wide in astonishment. 'But where's the food?' Abigail asked in a whisper.
"God will supply,' George told her quietly, before he turned to address the children. 'There's not much time. I don't want any of you to be late for school, so let's pray," he announced. As the children bowed their heads, George simply prayed, 'Dear God, we thank you for what you are going to give us to eat. Amen.'
George looked up and smiled at the children. 'You may be seated,' he said. He had no idea at all where the food he had just prayed for would come from or how it would get to the orphanage. He just knew God would not fail the children.
A thunderous din filled the room as three hundred chairs were scuffed across the wooden floor. Soon all three hundred children sat obediently in front of their empty plates.
No sooner had the noise in the dining room subsided than there was a knock on the door. George walked over and opened the door. In the doorway stood the baker, holding a huge tray of delicious smelling bread.
'Mr. Mueller,' began the baker, 'I couldn't sleep last night. I kept thinking that somehow you would need bread this morning and that I was supposed to get up and bake it for you. So I got up at two o'clock and made three batches for you. I hope you can use it.'
George smiled broadly. 'God has blessed us through you this morning,' he said as he took the trays of bread from the baker.
'There's two more trays out in the cart,' said the baker. 'I'll fetch them.'
Within minutes, the children were all eating freshly baked bread. As they were enjoying it, there was a second knock at the door. This time it was the milkman, who took off his hat and addressed George. 'I am needing a little help, if you could, sir. The wheel on my cart has broken, right outside your establishment. I'll have to lighten my load before I can fix it. There's ten full cans of milk on it. Could you use them?' Then looking at the orphans sitting in neat rows, he added, 'Free of charge, of course. Just send someone out to get them. I'll never fix the cart with all that weight on it.'
It took twenty strong older children to bring in all the milk that God had brought to their door. And we find that George knew the heart of God- He would not fail the children. They had breakfast and enough milk left over for their tea at lunch. But most importantly, little Abigail had learned something. God answers prayer and provides our daily bread. In fact, she began to finish her prayers with, "like you do for George Muller. Amen."
How many times have I wanted the faith of George Muller, but haven't wanted to first see an empty plate in front of my children?
How many times have I wanted the faith of Moses, but not wanted to be thirsty enough to need water from a stone?
How many times have I wanted to be called a daughter of Sarah, but not wanted to venture into unknown territory?
Maybe the daily bread you need is not food. In Scripture bread often symbolizes our attitudes, for example in Psalm 127:2 talks about the "bread of sorrows." Maybe the manna you need to pick up each day is wisdom from the Lord or kindness. Whatever the bread you need, the Lord may be leading you through a season of learning daily dependence (as He is with me).
Whatever your daily need, my encouragement would be to look at the example of George Muller and grab the hands of your children to bring them along with you.
Don't try to hide every struggle or concern, but instead show them the Truths of Scripture you are standing on and let them pray with you for your needs. Let them 'Come and see what God will do.'
My heart has often been encouraged as I have trusted God's Word in Psalm 34:10.
"The young lions do lack and suffer hunger,
But they who seek the LORD shall not
be in want of any good thing."
From George Mueller, The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans pg.166-168. To read the entire true story to your children, find the Benge's book here.