JUST ENOUGH DAILY BREAD’
"Two things I ask of you, O Lord... keep falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you, or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." Proverbs 30:7-9
Maybe you’re like me. I memorized the Lord’s prayer as a young child and have said it far too many times to count, often without thinking much about what I’m actually saying. ‘Daily bread’ meant food and clothes - or Lord, keep me from starvation and wardrobe failure. I've since learned otherwise.
Have you ever heard of Agur? He is the author of these verses from Proverbs 30 yet not mentioned anywhere else in the scriptures. Agur's request, however, is quite profound, and sheds great illumination on the ‘daily bread’ concept. To re-phrase his words, Agur is saying 'God, help me live in truth and make me content every day with no more and no less than just enough.'
Occasionally I ask God to reveal His truth and keep me in it. *200 It hasn’t occurred to me to ask Him for ‘just enough’ daily needs for each day. After all, isn’t it better to be prepared with a little extra - just in case? Recognizing His provision is a blessing.
Releasing something He withholds is a challenge.
But requesting He limit my sustenance each day? That takes a whole new level of trust! Imagine exclaiming when my belly is full, my bank account is overflowing, my health is in tip top shape: “Now hold on here, God. This is too much! Please won’t you take back such and such so I don't become desperate or proud?" I’ve gotta be honest and admit my thoughts haven’t spent much time in that place.
Agur’s writing inspires me. He understand his limitations. He knew his tendencies towards pride and greed. In the process of praying for contentment in today, he was also praying for coverage for tomorrow. He aimed to prevent what might happen in the midst of temptation. I want to do the same. The Apostle Paul discussed these concepts in Philippians 4:12-13, which says “I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. *400 I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (NIV) What a sweet reminder that Paul, Agur, you and me aren’t able to pray in our own strength. All power, wisdom and gratitude are rooted in and spring up from our Lord, the God who took care of my greatest need - that of salvation!
Agur’s beautiful proverb has taught me to pray the Lord’s prayer differently. Now when I reach my ‘daily bread’, I consider amount and attitude. My Father knows exactly what I need, exactly what He will provide each moment, and exactly what I will do with what He gives me. I fall before my Jesus in repentance. I ask for the Holy Spirit's constant presence. I remember to lead my heart to contentment with just enough daily bread.
Song Reflection: We give thee but thine own, whate'er the gift may be;
all that we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from thee. LSB #781
Prayer: Dearest Father God, thank You for Your word that guides us into all truth. I can be impatient, prideful or downright spoiled about the things I want or what I think I need. Forgive me, Lord. Help me trust You to provide just enough, and make me content in all circumstances. Show me how to honor You with all I have been given. In Your beautiful name, Amen.