Our daily bread

Today, like every other day, has been long and eventful. It’s only 1:30 p.m. and I’ve already been “Ninja Turtle Mommy”, master Lego architect, peek-a-boo professional, cleaned the entire house twice, and wrestled two children in to bed for their unwanted (but desperately needed) naps. Days as a stay-at-home mom are busy. I’m sure all of us have different forms of action-packed days that can drag on and leave us feeling as though we are running on empty fumes once mid-afternoon rolls around. What if there was a sustenance that could keep you filled up regardless the circumstances and busy events?

I come with Good News, such fulfillment exists.

One scripture has continuously been showing up in front of my face recently, The Lord’s Prayer:

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

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 forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

Jesus gives us an outline for how we should pray to God. This prayer sounds simple, and it really is simple but powerful. I think that because it is simple, the Lord’s Prayer can often be over looked or watered down. I grew up reciting it before every intake of communion at my family’s small Baptist church in North Texas, and sometimes before meals. My memory knew the words but my heart only scratched the surface of the meaning. Over the past month, this prayer began appearing either in song form or just simply when I’d open my Bible up only to find the prayer miraculously within the paragraphs on the page. It was obvious that God wanted to teach me something deeper  within Jesus’s words.

The entire prayer is full of nourishing meat, but one part in particular really stuck out to me in relation to where I currently am in life.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

I always thought that meant God was giving me today, a day not promised but given. Or possibly meaning that my daily bread is a day provided to me with everything I need to get by in. But this time there was more for me to see. What triggered in my mind while reading those few words was the question,“What is bread?”

God’s response to me was as it usually is,“Well what did Jesus say?

“And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (John‬ ‭6:35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Jesus is the bread! Jesus is our daily bread! He is our sustenance that gets us through the day, that gets us through life. Jesus is our manna provided by God for us to get our fill everyday. Only after we have had our fill of Jesus, can we give Jesus out to others without running empty. I have found myself ministering to people, my children included, and feeling so frazzled or drained afterwards. Why?

I was loving people with my own counterfeit version of love. My love runs out. My love is a shadow of the real deal. God’s depthless river of love made manifest through Jesus never runs dry. We must dig our wells in His love before pouring out into others.

We are intended to continue filling up even while we are already full, so that everything we give is merely an overflow of what has been given to us. Jesus is our overflow. Think about the story of Jesus’s first miracle. The wedding guests had already drank all of the expensive wine and were full. They ran out of the drink and Jesus miraculously changed the water in to wine-and better tasting wine at that! The guests already had wine, it wasn’t as if Jesus was supplying a need. Jesus was giving out extra. Jesus was providing an overflow. Now how can we press into this and receive our daily bread?

“She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.” (Proverbs‬ ‭31:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

This scripture provides us with the practical method of getting up in the early hours of the day, when the rest of the household is still sleeping, in order to provide food for both her household and the other people in her care. We can only provide to others that which has first been given to us.

“We love each other because He loved us first.” (1 John 4:19 NLT)

We must really and truly look to Jesus daily to see God’s love before we can pour out to others. We have to stay in a constant state of consenting to God’s love if we are to love others.

It’s a process. One I am journeying forward on. I want to share my amazing friend, Katelyn’s, testimony in regards to her own journey of setting apart time to receive her daily bread:

“It has been nothing short of easy to set apart this time. It truly is something I’m having to train for just like running a race. Right now I wake up 5-6 a.m. and read… take my notes then go back to bed until around 9 a.m. when my kids get up. Yes, I know that’s not exactly the way I think it should be but I’m training myself to be able to stay up and just not go back to sleep. Through me doing this it’s felt like I’ve been under more attack with the devil with the kids a lot (not even going to lie). But the awesome part is even though I feel the devil is running right behind me all day , God is right in front of me, cheering me on, reminding me what I’m training for, what I’m learning, and guiding me on how to use it! Honestly it’s hard some days, it seems easier to get that extra hour or two of sleep, but then I have to remind myself of the things that I have defeated because of doing this… Outside of my household, I truly feel like I am remembering His word even more than ever now that I rise early to provide the food (spiritual) for my family and friends. I used to always felt timid on saying stuff because I didn’t know what I was talking about. But now it’s like verses come to me on what I’m reading and I’m remembering them! How great is our God. Through believing Him, in faith that this would turn out for the better, He’s helping me with things I wasn’t even focused on. I can’t give that glory to anyone but Him. Because of rising early I now feel more confident and comfortable sharing his word!

“I rise before dawn and cry [in prayer] for help; I wait for Your word. My eyes anticipate the night watches and I awake before the call of the watchman, That I may meditate on Your word.”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭119:147-148‬ ‭AMP

I challenge you to prioritize a time in your day to receive your daily bread, Jesus Christ! Whether it be the early dawn or the late evening, commit to finding the moments of stillness before God and receiving His love through the reading of His Word. Jesus is the Bread of Life and Jesus is the Word of God. Setting apart a slot of time to read your Bible and communicate with God (praying) is how you will apply this to your daily routine.

Perfection

I havent blogged in a while and I’ll blame my busy holiday season for that. After a month of beloved visitors coming and going through our home, and our household visiting others as well, I have been intentionally spending my down time with God, my husband and kids. No pouring out my talents in music, writing, or even going out of my way to minister to others. Just a lot of being still and sharing the love of Christ with whoever I bump into along the way. A great deal of exploring new praise and worship music and a desk full of books I read. It’s been a time of fueling up. And I know that means one thing:

The hurdles have been lined up. I am crouched down on the starting line, awaiting the blank to be fired, and ready to take off running as fast as I can.

But for now deep breath in, deep breath out.

My need for patience linked arms with humility becomes clearer and clearer everyday. When I first surrendered my life to Christ, I resembled the hare in the classic Tortoise and the Hare story. I ran as fast as I could wherever the path took me, leaving behind whatever hindered me.

I went on a one week mission trip two weeks after dedicating my life to Christ. We ministered the gospel of Jesus to teens and young adults partying on a beach. They were slaves to the exact same sins that I had just been pulled out from. I was on top of the world yelling at the darkness about this little Light of mine.

But the light dimmed when the trials came and I found myself lukewarm, drifting back deeper into the lifestyle I’d so recently abandoned. I was the seed planted in gravel. The rain came and I washed away.

Thankfully I was pushed into signing up and raising money for a 3 month long mission trip in California by my new missionary friends whom I had moved in with. These new friends were the Titus to my Paul ( 2 Corinthians 7:6), cheering me on as I dusted off my tattered jeans and got back up. They never ceased to encourage me, never once judging me when I fell. I can not say “thank you” enough to Kelsey, Brittany and Taylor. You three girls were the first genuinely Christ-like people I’d ever had the pleasure of building a relationship with.

Afterwards, I spent an entire week’s drive to California with a super-Christian friend I hardly knew. I write “super-Christian” because she was an amazing reflection of Jesus, to the point of me being jealous of her and thinking I’d never achieve that type of closeness to God. I didn’t realize then that God wanted that for me too. I spent that journey literally sobering up, being still with the Lord as my feet dangled off of the edge of the Grand Canyon, and learning patience as our drive across the United States blurred into the horizon. Again, I was being fueled up.

I had no idea that this mission trip would actually be God’s mission for me to see the depths of Christ’s love and truly be transformed by the His Holy Spirit. I spent the summer of a lifetime surrounded by Jesus-loving friends and diving deeper than I ever had into an intimate relationship with God. I was transformed to the point of no return.

I share this tidbit of my life in hopes of revealing the importance of submission to the journey. Submit to God’s stop-signs and green lights within the journey. Humility and patience are directly connected to our level of endurance through this trek of life. We have to humble ourselves before God to realize His sovereignty over our lives. Doing this allows us to see the need for His Spirit to guide us in ALL things, bringing forth the budding of the fruits of the Holy Spirit within our hearts. As I am sure every human to exist could agree, patience does not come naturally. Haste is in our nature. But I tell you today wait, my friend.

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

That verse says more than I ever could. Wait on God! The promise is coming! Remember just who this God is, whom has set an appointed time for your promise to be fulfilled (Exodus 9:5). He is El Shaddai, God Almighty, who has no limits. He is Jehovah, Sovereign Lord and Leader, who can make a way through oceans (Exodus 6:2-3).

“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,” (Genesis‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

This lays the foundation for us to see just who He is and what He does! God Almighty brought me out of the pit & Jehovah my Lord leads me down His path of righteousness through Jesus! When we see Him as both Lord and God we surrender our impossibilities to being His capabilities. If He can create planets and Heaven itself, what can’t He do? Your appointed time is already written. Trust in Him.

Humble yourself before God, seeing His sovereignty over all and your deep need for His leadership in your life. Reflect back on the countless times God has been patient with you so that you can learn from Him and apply it to your own life.

Feel that momentum building up? Get ready while you wait! Put the spikes on your track shoes, kneel down, and breathe deep. Wait for God’s signal, and go! We are in this race together.

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)