Daily Bread

 

For those of you who are just getting to know me, I thought I’d briefly fill you in on a few details of my life. I was born with a genetic lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis. I was diagnosed at 6 months old. CF affects all the organs in your body, primarily the lungs, by creating thick, syrup like mucus. This mucus blocks your airways and obstructs your breathing as well as the function of other organs. My lung function has slowly decreased throughout my life. I cannot fight off infections without the help of antibiotics. Every time I get sick, I am required to do a round of oral antibiotics. If those don’t work within the first week or so, I am admitted to the hospital where I do IV antibiotics for a minimum of 2-3 weeks. It is safe to say I have had more surgeries than I can remember, I have been on death’s door more than once, and I have spent at least a fourth of my life in the hospital, if not more.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because in order for you to understand what I have come to understand, you need to know a little bit of history. My entire life is a balancing act between my health, my schooling, doing ministry, relationships, etc. It can all be very overwhelming. Some weeks I honestly don’t know how I am going to make it. Some days I wake up ready to go back to bed. However, if there are two things I can be certain of while living with a chronic illness, it is that 1) nothing is certain. My life has always been predictably unpredictable and 2) amidst the unpredictability, God remains faithful.

This past year has been one of the most spiritually challenging/rewarding years of my life. I knew that it was going to be a hard year. I knew that this was going to be a year where God would stretch me beyond what I thought I was capable of. I also knew that God would take care of me. One morning while getting ready for class I was praying, asking for God’s sustenance because I did not know how I was going to make it through the year apart from God. Nor did I have any intention to try. I knew He had promised to carry me and I intended to make sure He kept that promise (as if He wouldn’t). Over and over I heard the Lord say, “keep relying on my daily bread”. That day I was taken back to the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Ever since that day, the Lord’s prayer has taken on a new meaning for me, specifically in verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread”. This is the verse I have stood on and prayed every day. Through praying this, God began to reveal a deeper truth to me behind the verse.

If you look at the Lord’s prayer in the original language it was written in, Greek, you see that there are two words for “bread” that are used. The first word is Arton, which comes from the Greek root word Artos, meaning, “food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.”. The second word is, Epiousion, which comes from the Greek root word Epiouseeos, meaning, “the bread of our necessity; the bread that suffices for each day”.

See, all my life I have always believed that God was going to heal me one day. I never pictured my life as an adult with CF. I have always had a peace about me that God was taking care of me. I never doubted His ability to heal me, it was just a question of when. I have been prayed over more times than I can count. I have spent countless nights praying and asking God to heal me. Though I know I have immense faith, it wasn’t until these past two years that I began to discover a new point of view behind healing. Often in the Pentecostal church, healings are viewed as a single, grand, divine encounter with the Holy Spirit, resulting in instantaneous healing. Now this is no small matter. Divine encounters accompanied by instantaneous intervention is clearly the Gospel at work. This type of healing is a magnificent and life changing moment for the ones involved! I am in no way here to diminish those who have received a divine intervention of healing. I think it is one of the greatest blessings of God and your testimony can be used in powerful ways for the kingdom of God! I am simply here to speak to those who are like me, who have been praying for healing for years, or a lifetime, yet haven’t had a breakthrough. Those who feel marginalized when their desperation produces nothing.

If I am being honest, often times I find myself asking questions such as: What about me? I have prayed, begged, pleaded, and cried out to God for 23 years for my healing. Where is it? I go to every alter call, I have fasted and prayed, I have had the elders of the church pray over me, I have followed biblical teachings on healing! So, what about me? Why do some people get healed when they have only been dealing with something for a couple of years? I am not saying that your desires for healing aren’t valid, but what about mine?

That very questioning brought me back to the Lord’s prayer. Matthew 6:11 says, “Give us this day our daily bread”. At first when I thought about daily bread, I was reminded of the Israelites in the desert in Exodus chapter 16 on their way to the promise land after escaping Egyptian slavery. After hearing the complaints of the Israelites, it was clear they still questioned God’s faithfulness and provision. God provided for them by raining down manna, or bread, from heaven every day and instructed the Israelites to collect just enough for their families for that day. God continued to do this every day for 40 years. God provided “just enough” every single day for 40 years to get the Israelites through.

I am also reminded of the Widow of Zarephath during the drought in 1 Kings 17:8-16. The widow was almost out of food for her and her son when the prophet Elijah visits her and asks for some food. She explains to him that she has but a bit of oil and flour left for one meal and that she was planning on splitting with her son. Then, they would prepare to die. Elijah again tells her to make him something to eat for the Lord has promised that her jar of oil and flour will never run empty. The widow did as he commanded and she and her son never went hungry again. These accounts attribute greatly to the faithfulness of God and his provision over his people.

So, I want to propose a new thought. What if healing comes in different forms? What if the dependency of the daily bread is exactly where God wants us to be? God could have easily made the journey for the Israelites a breeze and led them straight into the promise land. God could have completely intervened in the widow’s situation and made her baskets flow abundantly. But he didn’t. There is a sweet secret in the daily bread that we often miss. It’s this secure dependency. It’s knowing that I must rely on God for my very breath but also knowing that he will be my faithful supplier. There is something so sweet about having nothing out of your own strength.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 1 Corinthians 12:9

There is freedom in knowing that my needs cannot be fulfilled on my own and that this does not rest on me. There is nothing I can do but rely on the daily bread. Though I may not be completely healed in every sense of the word, God continuously gives me just enough to make it through every day.

It is through the daily bread that I experience God. It’s through the daily bread that I commune with God on a deeper level. It is through the daily bread that I am rescued. It is through the daily bread that I am strengthened. It is through the daily bread that I am made whole. It is through the daily bread that I am healed. It is through the daily bread that God’s light shines because it’s through the daily bread that I and others see God’s faithfulness. I may not be completely healed and who knows if I ever will be while here on this earth. But one thing I do know is that every day I would NOT make it without God’s daily bread. That wherein my healing lies, it is in the daily bread that I can truly say,

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Sometimes, healing is more than a one-time divine encounter. Sometimes healing is in the daily bread.

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2 thoughts on “Daily Bread

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  1. Wow, Ash, this hit me right in the heart. I needed to read these words today! Daily bread – dependency – faithfulness. Thank you for choosing to share your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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