Faith column: Remember our daily bread
I expected news pointing to a light at the end of the quarantine tunnel to be a relief. Instead, I found myself fighting anxiety as I watched on Monday as Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced his plans to give back some of the routine we have lost. Questions like: “How do we go back?”, “What do we go back to?”, “How do we move forward?” started to swirl and then developed into a tornado of uneasiness. Three days later I’m doing better because of a new understanding of some scripture. I pray He will use it to encourage someone else.
The morning after Polis’ announcement I had a Young Life regional staff Zoom call (seemingly Zoom call #1,234 in the last six weeks). My anxiety was still with me from the announcement, and on the opening of the call I talked to my fellow directors about my struggles. Many of them seemed to agree with me; the future “what’s and how’s” were uncertain and uneasy.
After the opening call comments we were led through a Lectio Divina – a practice of meditating on scripture – I don’t have enough space to go over it here, but I encourage you to read up on if you are unfamiliar. The scripture we meditated on was John 21:1-14. It’s the well-known account of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the bank of the Tiberias Sea after his resurrection.
I listened to the reading a couple times and on the third reading, verse nine resonated. It reads, “when (the disciples) landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it and some bread.” In the past I have overlooked that verse. Typically my attention is drawn to the big catch of 153 fish that the disciples were trying to navigate to shore (that would be one jealousy-inducing Facebook profile pic!).
On this day though, I was drawn to the fact that Jesus had already prepared the meal for the morning. He had already literally provided the “daily bread” they needed. What the disciples worked so hard to bring in was superfluous.
In the midst of my anxiety on Monday, I was more worried about the fish I needed to catch instead of the daily bread (and fish) that we are told to ask for in the Lord’s prayer. Jesus’ provision is often overlooked in my life as I work hard to create my own value and accomplishments.
How has this unique time challenged you? I have some friends who have been even more intentional in their time with God and they are grateful. I know others, who like me, have struggled to find rhythm and peace.
A central premise of Christianity is that Jesus is already providing in the midst of whatever the world is throwing at us. He might be asking us to do hard things (like dragging a net bursting with fish) but all the while his will is already waiting for us on the shore.
David Pressgrove is the area director for Bear River Young Life.
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Just like you, I live with the fear of wildfire. My southern Oregon town of Ashland nestles against the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, whose forests become tinder in our hot, dry summers.