Our Daily Bread
This line from the Lord's Prayer gives me a lot of trouble. Surely Jesus didn't actually mean "daily" bread? As in, no bread for next week... definitely not next month... not even for tomorrow! This had to be a figure of speech, because actually receiving daily bread (and nothing more) runs completely counter to my desire to feel safe and secure. Doesn't Jesus know I like to meal plan?!
As a non-profit organization, finances are always uncertain. We depend on the generosity of others to pay the bills, care for our neighbors, and compensate our employees. We're constantly asking the Lord to provide for our "daily bread". In November of this year, we realized that we would need about $32,000 in year-end gifts in order to balance our budget for 2014. We sent out letter, Facebook updates, and emails sharing the need and asking people to give generously. And we prayed for daily bread.
Checks came in slowly, but steadily throughout the first few weeks of December. After Christmas, I opened up a few more pieces of mail with checks enclosed. We were so thankful for the generosity of all these donors, but also recognized that we were short of our goal by several thousand dollars. I'll admit that at this point I had very little faith that we would reach our goal. After all, there were only a few days left until the end of the year! Still, we prayed for daily bread.
Then, as He is so faithful to do, God surprised by providing through a generous gift just in the nick of time! We ended 2014 with a balanced budget!
I was reflecting on this great news earlier this week when one of our outreach workers, Kenny, came into the office and said that he had been given some bread to pass out to our neighbors. I walked out to his truck, and saw that the entire bed was filled with bread! Kenny was thrilled to be able to distribute all this food to our neighbors without address. It seems Jesus is still in the business of multiplication miracles, and now so many of the most vulnerable members of our community were blessed with daily bread.