In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted. Exodus 16:13-21 ESV
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 ESV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11 ESV
Once there was a mother and her little girl who were very poor, who often didn’t have enough to eat. One day the little girl met an old woman in the forest who gave her a magic cooking pot. All the little girl had to say was, “Cook, little pot, cook!” and the pot would magically cook sweet porridge. From then on she and her mother had as much sweet porridge to eat as they wanted, any time they wanted it.
This is a fairy tale from Germany, and of course it’s not true. You might think it’s similar to the true story of God sending manna to his people as they traveled through the wilderness, but it really isn’t. The manna wasn’t magic, and it didn’t come when the people decided they wanted it, but rather when God chose to send it. The people were expected to do the work of picking it up every morning; the manna didn’t magically appear in their cooking pots. They also weren’t allowed to gather more than they needed each day, but each day they had to trust that God would send more food for them.
God doesn’t send us manna to eat today, but he does provide us with the food we need. Everything we have–food, clothing, homes, family, education, and medicine–is a good gift from God. We wouldn’t have any of it if God didn’t give it to us, and we pray every day that God would give us our daily bread. On the other hand, God doesn’t expect us to be lazy. He gives us work to do to help earn the things we need. We might save all kinds of money and things for the future, but only God knows what the future holds, and so every day we keep trusting God to give us what we need.
We know that God cares for us and will give us what we need. The biggest need we ever had was for a Savior to die for us and forgive our sins, and he sent us Jesus. Because of Jesus, we can be sure that God loves us and hears our prayers. He will always take care of us in the way that is best for us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us our daily bread, and for giving us Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.