“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, NKJV).
The simple child in me never journeyed past the thought this was a request to be fed real food daily, and the food was always provided by God’s good hand. Somehow, I reasoned God worked through my mother who fried the best chicken, pressure-cooked the softest green beans, smothered rice with gravy made from drippings and added her love with cheese biscuits. I didn’t believe He had anything to do with her rutabagas.
My aged perspective believes this is still true, but my travels also delivered the deeper meanings God intends me to understand when I pray these words. Yes, it means spending time in His word, praying unceasingly, asking Him daily for wisdom and understanding. I know the word daily means daily.
But what is this daily bread? Is it only good as we wish good to be? Or is it truth indifferent toward pleasure and pain? Does not today possess its own trouble? Does not bread encourage and correct? Daily bread consists neither of yesterday or tomorrow for one belongs to history and the other to God and we need not worry about either. Only daily bread is worthy of our asking.
And then there is Tawny Scrawny Lion. Tawny could never get enough to eat. He spent his days chasing monkeys, kangaroos, zebras, bears, camels and elephants. “And since he caught everything he ran after, that lion should have been fat as butter. But he wasn’t at all.”
Tired of being chased, the animals decided to “appoint the rabbit to talk things over with the lion. That made the rabbit feel very proud… So, the fat little rabbit hopped right up to the big hungry lion and counted his ribs. ‘You look much too scrawny to talk things over,’ he said. ‘So, how about supper at my house first?’”
“What’s for supper?” asked the lion. The little rabbit said, “Carrot Stew … but the little rabbit said, ‘Yes sir, my five fat sisters and four fat brothers are making a delicious carrot stew right now.”
So, the little rabbit and Tawny Scrawny, thinking about the fat siblings, went on their way collecting ingredients for carrot stew, which took a while. Hungry, Tawny Scrawny thought he would have to eat the rabbit “then and there.” Finally, they arrived and when the siblings saw the tawny, scrawny lion, they gave him a bowl of hot stew. So, he ate it. When finished, the rabbits heaped some more into his bowl. Satisfied, he felt good and fat and couldn’t move.
Monday came. Time to eat monkeys. But what he wanted was some more carrot stew. He went to see the rabbits. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday came and all he wanted was some carrot stew. And thus, the story of Tawny Scrawny lion goes. Thank you, Kathryn Jackson.
Daily bread is all we need. All in life is daily bread, remembering who gives it.
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).