"Give us this day our daily bread..."
I pray the Lord's Prayer every day, sometimes two or three times during the day. Our readings in Mass over the past few weeks have taken us through the book of Genesis, and then on into Exodus. The story of God providing manna is so incredible. I mean, who but God would think of sending His people bread from the sky? Yet it did not come without guidelines. They should only take enough for each day. More would come tomorrow. Only on the day before the Sabbath were they allowed to store extra manna for the following day. Otherwise, the manna would rot and be filled with worms. And then God brought it all home to me...
The fact is, I am a worrier. There are many factors that go into that. Often, a lack of sleep is the cause. Sometimes it is circumstances that take me out of my comfort zone (read: areas that I can control). Sometimes it is hormonal in nature. But whatever the cause, I go into panic mode. What if...? Fill in the blank. If it's a situation in my life, I will probably find a way to worry about it.
And what does this have to do with manna?
The Lord showed me that worry is like being a disobedient Israelite: trying to take tomorrow's manna instead of just dealing with today's needs (manna). And it does to my emotions and inner person just what that extra manna did. It causes my "today" manna to be eaten up by tomorrow's worries and fears.
When Jesus taught us to pray for "our daily bread" that was what He was trying to teach us, too. Don't worry about tomorrow's provision. Pray for what you need TODAY.
And, ever faithful, He will indeed provide today's manna.