Daily bread for daily needs

Whatever type of problem we may be facing, God has given us the grace, strength, and inspiration we need to experience healing and find solutions.

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Human needs can seem enormous and burdensome. But Christ Jesus saw things differently – in a way that lifted burdens and fear, and brought solutions. And we can learn from him.

Because of the amazing healings Jesus performed, people followed him and listened to him preach. One time, a crowd of thousands followed Jesus in the wilderness for three days. Realizing the multitude had nothing to eat, Jesus asked his disciples how much bread they had. The answer was just seven loaves and a few fish – a meager supply.

But Jesus gave thanks, and the supply multiplied as it was distributed. All the people ate and were filled. And there were baskets of leftovers, too (see Matthew 15:32-38).

The disciples had no doubt despaired at the apparent lack because they looked at matter and saw limitation. But through spiritual sense Jesus discerned something else: God’s infinite supply, which is available for each of God’s children at every moment. As the Apostle John wrote, “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). And the line by line spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer found in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy refers to our “daily bread” as grace:

“Give us this day our daily bread;

“Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;...” (p. 17).

The grace of God is divine Love’s influence on human hearts and minds. We accept God’s grace when we stop looking to what we can see with our eyes – our checkbook balance, the human body, our personal abilities – as the final say in what’s going on, and instead graciously open our hearts to the spiritual sense of God’s ever-presence and care. “Spiritual sense,” as Science and Health affirms, “is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God” (p. 209).

Through spiritual sense – which we all inherently have as God’s children – we discern God’s abundant goodness right where limitation seems real to the material senses. And the best way to thank God for what He gives is to graciously receive it, diligently hold to it, and trust it.

With a gracious willingness to have divine Love spiritualize and purify our hearts, minds, and motives, our prayers become infused with Love’s healing power. We see what God sees: ourselves and others as God’s very own loved spiritual and perfect image and likeness. Through spiritual sense, we discern what God has already given us – qualities such as justice, mercy, kindness, righteousness, purity, health, harmony, and so on – even where the material senses present lack in some form.

And holding with love, understanding, and conviction to spiritual Truth turns the human picture around. Healing happens.

It’s encouraging to know that we don’t need to solve every problem in one day. All we need to do at any moment is to turn to God for our “daily bread”: the grace to know, receive, and express what God knows. As Mrs. Eddy lovingly wrote in Science and Health, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (p. 4).

Desiring above all else to grow in the grace of yielding to the will of God, who is entirely good, releases us from the hole-digging habit of mulling over self-justification, self-righteousness, pride, and fear. Then we feel the love of God lifting us into the realization and freedom of spiritual reality.

Grace is about learning from God today, and putting into practice today the spiritual ideas He supplies. As we read in Science and Health, “In order to apprehend more, we must put into practice what we already know” (p. 323).

One day when I was praying for a healing of a physical condition that was visible, it came clearly to me to drop my concern about what others would think, and give myself to seeing in myself and others what God sees.

This shift in thought from the physical to the spiritual changed how I went about my day. For instance, while waiting in line at the post office to buy stamps, I noticed how the clerk patiently and lovingly served each customer’s need. And after she cared for my need, I thanked her for the poise and kindness she expressed with each person. You should have seen her gracious and radiant smile as she thanked me!

A little thing? Not at all. Opening my heart to the wonderful qualities God has created us all to express forwarded the healing of the condition I’d been praying about.

Such is the grace of God – our daily bread.

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