God’s Rationing Plan

  In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches His disciples (and us) how to pray for God’s provision. Imagine the following with me. Jesus is sitting on the hillside teaching his disciples how to pray. One of them (let’s say Peter) asks, “Lord, how do we pray for our provisions? Our food? Do we pray once a month for our needs to be met for that month?  You don’t have a wife to cook for you. Rabbi, you don’t even have a place to lay your head. Yet, we see you praying. Teach us how you pray.”

Jesus answers. “Listen, guys. I know you can’t handle everything I have for you all at once. So, I have a plan. My Father will provide for you one day at a time. Receive each day as our gift to you. Open it with anticipation, relish every minute, and then close it with thanksgiving. A trusting spirit and a grateful heart is my prescription for a productive day and good night’s sleep. We’ll take care of your physical hunger. But remember, we want to feed your heart, as well. Learn from me what each day has to offer. Remember, it will only last 24 hours and then it’s gone. Poof! Never to be retrieved or revised. Take each day seriously, but not too seriously. Lighten up! It does my heart good to see you enjoy what I give you.” Jesus pauses, and then smiles. “Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to thank me for the day, as well as your food.” 

* * * *

The definition for ration is a fixed share or portion of allotted food. “Give us this day our daily bread,” reminds me of God’s introduction of rationing in the Old Testament. He provided the Israelites daily with the grain of heaven for forty years in the desert. They called it manna. When made into cakes, it tasted like wafers made with honey and a hint of olive oil. God rationed the Israelites to humble them by testing their faith and obedience. Did they always appreciate God’s provision? Not really. You can read about that in Psalm 78.

Rationed or not, God’s provision is always sufficient, satisfying, and sustaining. That is, if we receive what He provides with a grateful and trusting heart.

When we pray for our needs, it helps to have the right mindset. God provides according to His own wisdom, rather than our whims. He satisfies our needs, rather than our cravings. He bolsters us not by building up our strengths. That would be too easily misconstrued. He sustains us by magnifying His power in our weaknesses.

Would you agree God’s provision plans rarely coincide with ours? Someone once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I can’t imagine God laughing at our foolishness. However, I can imagine Him laughing with us, can’t you? All we have to do is apply humor to our ineptness. And then, we can have a good laugh with God!

Certainly, God is light-hearted. Sure, He’s heavy-handed when He has to be. But it’s always for our good, and His glory. Consider how God dealt with the Israelites’ grumbling and complaining. He decided to satisfy their craving for meat rather than deny it. No rationing then. He rained down quail for them to eat until they were sick of it. How’s that for parenting with wisdom and a sense of humor?     

Are you motivated to pray for God to meet your daily spiritual needs? Remember, God’s spiritual bread is sufficient for the seeking mind. It’s satisfying to the grateful heart. And it’s nourishing for the spiritually thirsty.

As you ponder that, consider Jesus’ words from John 6:48-51. “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

                                                               

Note: I met my friend, Jackie Brown, at the writer’s conference. She agreed to be my guest blogger in the Food for the Tummy section this week. It just so happened that this week’s theme is praying for our daily bread. That’s God’s creative timing! I wanted you to know about her ministry in freezer cooking and to enjoy her recipes, as well. I know you’ll find them sufficient, satisfying, and sustaining for your family. Be sure and click on her various links to see her web site and recipes.

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