He opens His bountiful hand — and my needs are met!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11
"Each morning everyone gathered as much manna as he needed." Exodus 16:21
My daily bread is the gift of God. Never let me divest it of its specialness and glory, as if it were a common thing. Never let me partake of it without reverence and the giving of thanks.
There may not be about its bestowal, the same manifest miraculousness which marked the coming of the manna to Israel. The King of kings prefers to accompany me in modest quietness. But behind the loaf and the grain, above the farmer and the miller — my sustaining Father stands unseen. He opens His bountiful hand — and my needs are met. He could easily leave me destitute — apart from Him, I must go hungry and thirsty, a beggar and in rags. All to Him I owe! Do I praise Him for His bounty as I ought?
The daily bread is to be received in faith. Morning by morning the men of Israel gathered the manna. My Lord would prove me, by keeping me a perpetual pensioner on His charity, and a continual guest at His table. I can never be self-sufficient. I never can walk alone. I am taught to cling and trust — to look up and wait in hope.
The daily bread is a picture of higher and more sacred things. The children of Israel saw in the manna, something unearthly and inexplicable. They knew not what it was.
Just so, as I sit at my food and drink, a window should be opened for me into a world more wonderful and more divine. I should see Him Who is the Bread of my undying spirit — Him Who gives to me the Water of everlasting life.
Him, too, I must seek and find, with the return of every fresh morning. I cannot thrive on the grace of yesterday, as nourishing and ample as that was for yesterday's need. I am dependent on God hour after hour, and minute after minute, for . . .
fresh peace to garrison my heart and mind,
fresh strength to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.