Paul’s Recipe for Daily Bread

What are you doing for Mother’s Day this year? 

We sure can’t crowd the restaurants this Sunday, so I have a bread recipe that might come in handy. Unfortunately, a new batch has to be prepared each day, but it is worth the effort. You only have to “taste and see” to know it is good.  

Not everyone bakes, however. So, you might want to make enough to share. 

There are a lot of hungry people out there 

Brandon Hicks’ mom is probably not going to feel like celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday. 

Her son is sitting in an Austin jail, charged with a felony. He shoved a park ranger in the lake after the ranger issued him a warning to “distance” himself from his friends.  

The news is showing a lot of these stories lately. 

I remember the news clip of the woman grabbing toilet paper from another woman’s shopping cart. (Granted, the woman had filled two carts with toilet paper, leaving none for anyone else.) My guess is that neither of the shoppers was pleased to see the cell phone video of their argument on the news that evening. 

Then there was the video of the woman with her mask hanging off one ear, screaming in someone else’s face because they weren’t “distancing.” I’m sure her friends and family didn’t miss the irony when they saw that viral video. 

Some people are out of patience and causing problems. But most people are still continuing to make good choices. When the park ranger was shoved in the water, there were a lot of people who came to his aid. Brandon Hicks was quickly identified and arrested, and the ranger’s rescuers returned to their lives and their happy day at the lake. 

Everyone could use a little bread these days 

I can’t imagine I would ever shove a park ranger in the lake. I can’t imagine that I would choose to do a lot of the things I see people doing. 

But, I can imagine and, in fact, remember times I have run out of patience with someone and made a dumb choice. You probably can remember some of those times in your life as well.  

The virus is probably going to slow down, but it isn’t going to be gone until a vaccine is approved and supplied to the masses. A friend’s wife teaches school, and she was told to prepare to teach in the fall but to keep all her “homeschool” computer apps current. The district is assuming they will need to close the schools and resume the learn-at-home structure for a period of time this fall. 

People are looking for peace in the news, but it isn’t there. Luckily, we have a recipe in Scripture. 

If you want peace, ask Paul for his recipe 

The apostle Paul wrote great instructions for people seeking peace. He said, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). 

Paul’s words are a recipe for peace, which could be called our “daily bread.” 

Paul’s recipe for daily bread 

1. Mix one part joyful hope. 

Christians can find the patience to wait for things to improve because we know that we always have the hope of eternal life with Jesus. We have the assurance of this hope through his Holy Spirit, and we have the godly priorities that our hope of heaven provides. 

We can find joyful hope in our faith, even if we can’t find it in the news. 

2. Stir in one part patience. 

There are very few of us who have endured tribulation like Paul endured, yet he could write, “Be patient in tribulation.”  

People today are running out of patience because we want certain things that aren’t on the shelf. We want to see family, but not just on our phones and computer screens. We want to take a trip, but to where? We want to go to the grocery store, for Pete’s sake, without feeling like the plague could be resting on the bananas we pick up.  

Paul might raise his eyebrows at our “tribulation,” but he would tell us what he told those early Christians: Just be patient. Things will get better one day, and God has promised us things will be better every day, one day. 

3. Continually add prayer.

Paul’s final ingredient is prayer. Not just a prayer to begin and end our day, but days that are filled with prayer. How do we live in constant prayer?  

We can learn to “hang out with” Jesus. 

Realize that the Son of God wants to hang out with you! 

We can talk to him all day; ask him stuff all day; ask him for stuff all day. Ask Jesus to tell you things, guide your path, encourage your thoughts, and help you fight off Satan’s suggestions. Hanging out with Jesus is like having a friend, counselor, and companion—who is always present and always perfect. 

Prayer allows us to spend time with Jesus, at any time we choose. What an amazing gift! 

Daily bread, like manna, is only good for a day 

The Israelites escaped Egypt and crossed the desert, but God took care of them along the way. Each morning they gathered manna, but just enough for the day. If they gathered more than they needed, the leftovers just spoiled and became worthless. 

That lesson has become a lesson to every one of God’s children since that time. Daily bread, manna, is all we need for today, but it won’t be good for tomorrow.  

In Paul’s recipe, the ingredients for this bread of peace are hope, patience, and constant prayer. Paul would ask us to allow God to provide the ingredients and the measurements, mix them up, and then serve them at the right times during our day.  

Jesus taught us to pray

Take a minute and remember each word of the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9–13). The first thing Jesus told us to ask for was “our daily bread.”   

We need it, and so do a lot of other people. I hope someone will give Brandon Hicks a slice. He needs it and may not know how to find it. 

Is there a Brandon Hicks in your life? 

People are getting tired and need spiritual strength for these days. The Apostle Paul would tell us to start baking and enjoy the results. 

And . . . 

To all the moms out there: May you have a blessed and happy Mother’s Day. And keep baking for them until they start making daily bread for themselves. 

Reminder: Send your Christmas memories/stories to [email protected]. I’m looking forward to reading them!