While visiting the country of Haiti a couple of years ago, one of my sons and I visited the marketplace with several others, to purchase some food. Our hosts were telling us about the various food and other goods for sale. Many of these products in the market weren’t that different from what one might see in a grocery store in the United States or Europe. Other elements of the marketplace were reminiscent of open-air or street-side markets elsewhere in the world.
One particular item offered for sale caught my eye, though. Throughout the market, there were various little bags of grain, pasta, or beans, each bag having a common pattern of red and transparent stripes. Our host explained that these were single-meal portions of food. Each of these bags had enough to make a single meal – typically cooked into a sort of soup.
This was a far cry from a culture of pre-made, single-portion meals, manufactured for convenience. These were for families that would visit the market daily, and might only have enough money to purchase enough food for a single meal.
To me, this day-to-day shopping is a lot closer to what Jesus was talking about in Luke 11:3, especially when compared to what those of us with plenty of food in the cupboard might think of when reading this verse.
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
Luke 11:3 NASB
Whether you live in Haiti, Houston, or Hamburg, I realize that you may be in the same sort of situation. Maybe you don’t know how you’re going to get enough food to eat tomorrow. Maybe you don’t know where you’re going to sleep; or what you’re going to do when you wake up in the morning and find that your pantry, refrigerator, or wallet is still empty. Maybe you know that time will run out on your contract, agreement, or other arrangement tomorrow, and you’re just not sure what to do.
I won’t promise to have the answers, but I do know that God provides for countless Haitian families, day after day; and that He can provide for us when we don’t see the solution. The Bible has many examples of this, but one is the provision of God for a widow in a town named Zarephath, recorded in 1 Kings 17:8-16.
Your oil jar may run out, and you may be hungry tomorrow, but wherever you may be, I pray for you – that God will provide your daily needs. If your daily needs are being met already, why not pray that same prayer for those who just need bread for today, and consider how you can share your excess with those in need?
For more reading on a related topic, see also Modern-Day Manna.