“Give us today the food we need”. [Matthew 6:11]
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Give us today the food we need,” he reminded them of the manna God sent to their ancestors. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the people didn’t have enough food. They began to complain, and God stepped in. Exodus 16:4 summarizes the events: The Lord said to Moses, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day. In this way I can test them to find out if they will follow my instructions.” If people tried to hoard the manna instead of depending on God to send it every morning, the extra manna spoiled.
TOO MUCH FOR TODAY
The United States has too much food. According to U.S. government data (2014), thirty-five percent of adults are obese; another thirty-four percent are overweight. That means sixty-nine percent of American adults eat more than is healthy.
TOO LITTLE FOR TODAY
Many developing nations don’t have enough food. According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization data (2014), approximately 795 million people, or one in nine worldwide, suffer from chronic undernourishment. We have hungry people here in the U.S. as well. Many public schools have weekend backpack programs to send food home with children who depend on school lunches for their main meal. Homeless people in the U.S. regularly go hungry. Food pantries run low and are often empty.
ENOUGH FOR TODAY
As Christians, how can we live the promise we make when we ask God to give us the food we need for today? Each of us must find an answer to that question. A church I belonged to a few years ago tried this experiment: At the beginning of Lent each family took home a little cardboard box to place on the dining room table. The plan was for families to skip one meal a week and put the money that meal would have cost into the box. At Easter we collected the money and donated it to our local food pantry. It was a true object lesson in what going hungry means.
How do you balance food in your life?
Heavenly Father, today help us to deal with food in a balanced way. Help us to find ways to get food to those who don’t have enough.