Although few daily pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” God daily answers this prayer.  He answers by graciously providing suitable and sufficient food for our bodies, for our minds, for our emotions, and for our souls. Just think for a few moments on how God provides for our bodies.

The variety of God’s provision
He made so many different tastes and textures for so many palettes and preferences. There’s something for everyone. Out of the abundant variety we can all find something to our taste.

And think about how God made different foods to meet the varied needs of our bodies. Look at food wrapping and see how even the simplest foods have a complex mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fat, water, salt, etc.

The suitability of God’s provision

We often think of our food when we pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” However, all that food would be in vain if we did not have a functioning digestive system to process our food. God answers this prayer, therefore, not just by providing the food but also the machinery of our bodies to make the most of the food. When God made our food on creation days 1-5, He did so with a view to perfectly suiting it to the bodies He would make on day 6.

Most of us think daily about our food, but few of us ever give a thought to the incredibly complex digestive system that He daily sustains and directs. Think about it for a moment:

  • As soon as our eyes see and our nose smells food, the digestive system cranks into operation with saliva glands pumping out its lubricating oil.
  • Chemicals in our saliva (enzymes) immediately start changing carbs into sugar.
  • Our teeth and tongue start working in unison to grind it down and the tongue pushes the result to the back of the throat through a trapdoor and into our gullet (30 secs).
  • The muscles in our gullet begin to act like a toothpaste tube, squeezing the lump of food down towards the stomach, where another trapdoor automatically opens to let in the food (3 secs).
  • Acid rains down on the food to break it up (and kill any bacteria we may have ingested), while a thin layer of liquid (mucous) protects the stomach walls from being eroded (3-4 hours).
  • Once it is been dissolved into small enough bits, another valve opens and slowly lets it out into approx 20 feet of small intestine (3 hours).
  • Our liver, gall-bladder, and pancreas then squirts more chemicals to further break down the food and start separating the good from the bad. Lots of little sponges absorb the nutrients from the food and absorb them into the bloodstream.
  • The nutrient rich blood goes to the liver for processing, which filters out anything harmful and decides how many nutrients to let go to the body and how much to store.
  • What’s left then goes into the wider and drier large intestine where water is extracted and recycled back into our bodies. Microbes, bacteria continue to work on the residue which is now down to about a third of its original size..
  • The whole 25 foot journey takes about 18 hours, and 50 tons of food will pass through our digestive system in an average lifespan.

We’ve never had to think about that, have we? Most of us have never thought about this for even a moment. And yet it’s a large part of God’s daily answer to this prayer. He provides suitable food for our bodies and suitable bodies for our food. They fit so well.

The sufficiency of God’s provision
As God has promised (Ps. 145:16), there is enough food in the world for everybody. God has not come up short. He has not miscalculated. So why are there starving people? Oxfam reports that “Half the world’s food is lost as waste, and a billion people – one in every six of the world’s poorest – cannot access enough of the other half and so go hungry every day.”

“Give us this day our daily bread” is a plural, a group request. It reminds us of our responsibility to our fellow men and women. We cannot pray this prayer in the plural unless we are prepared to take action to even out the injustices of the world’s food supply. If we are not willing to do so, then lets just be honest and pray it in the singular, “Give me this day, my daily bread!”

  • Anne Morrison

    Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And God’s amazing creation, seen in the food He gives us, is truly wonderfully made too.What a great God we serve.

  • Cornelius VanKempen

    Buying and SellingBuy the truth and sell it not. Proverbs 23:23Everywhere we are bombarded with ads and billboards stating that to own or have this thing or service is necessary to make our life complete when you purchase this thing, its value will go up, you will make a lot of money and be rich over night! These get rich schemes appeal to our sinful natures and many of them are scams and only make the seller rich. As humans we are so earthly minded that many times our thoughts are only on the things of time and sense. We sell our birthright for a bowl of pottage as Esau did with Jacob. Why does God warn us to, “Buy the truth and sell it not?” We read in John 8:31-32, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We all want to be free, freedom to do things without interference. But is this the type of thing we are being warned not to sell? How can we buy this only truth? Where can we find it? It must be very costly and rare. Pilate asked the question, “What is truth.” Have you ever asked that question? Pilate never found truth even though the Truth was standing in front of him. He could take care of himself and needed no one to show him what truth was. Sadly this is a picture of us by nature. We have the Bible, which is the word of truth, but neglect it to our detriment. In John 14:6 Jesus is speaking to his disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.” This text says, that there is no other truth that will do! Jesus tells us of its desirability in Matthew 13:44-46, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” This truth costs us everything that we have as Jesus tells the rich young ruler who had come to him seeking to buy heaven. “Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21). Where are we looking or searching for truth? What does the Bible mean to you? Is it the Word of Truth for you? This is the field we must be searching in because that word is able to make us wise unto salvation. In John 5:39 we read, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” This is that pearl of great price. It shows us our utter helplessness to save ourselves but also the only way of escape through the living Word, Jesus Christ. Listen to what the word of God says about those that search it, “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119:97-99). That is buying the truth and selling it not! Have you found it so?Cornelius VanKempenJuly 8, 2011Read my meditations and devotions at:

  • cstryker

    When you stated that Oxfam reports that “Half the world’s food is lost as waste” it reminded me of the important work that different Gleaner organizations do in Jesus name. Often I drive by the Ontario Gleaners in our neighbourhood here in Canada.So appreciate your blog