When God’s people were in the wilderness, He fed them with daily bread called manna (Ex.16:8ff). He directed them to eat all that they could for that day, knowing that He would provide again for them on the next day. God arranged this as a way of training His people to trust in Him for their provision.
But the people did not listen to God. They feared that they would not have food for the coming day, so they saved some of what they had. God was not pleased with this act of distrust, so He caused the bread to breed worms.
It’s not hard to identify with the fears of those in the wilderness. Worrying about whether or not you are going to have enough for tomorrow comes easy. And this is true no matter how much you have. Whether you have a little or a lot, fretful thoughts of tomorrow seem to have unhindered access to our minds.
And this is where biblical faith becomes vital. Biblical faith enables you to suspend those natural cares for tomorrow in such a way that you are able give your best attention to today.
God shows us that He desires us to have this faith in the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus directs us to ask the Father for our daily bread (Mt.6:11). Note well: God provides us with the grace that we need one day at a time. And the Lord calls us to seek His grace one day at a time.
As E. M. Bounds wrote in one of his works on prayer, “We do not live in tomorrow but in today. We do not seek tomorrow’s grace or eat tomorrow’s bread.” And he adds, “They thrive best, and get the most out of life, who live in the present.”
None of this means, of course, that we should not plan ahead. In another place the Bible teaches us that we need to learn from the ant, who knows how to anticipate the future (Pr.6:6ff.)
Neither does this mean that God may not send us seasons when things are scarce, when He strips us down from what we’re used to. And in such seasons we must learn to be content with whatever circumstances we are in (Phil.4:11).
But all of this does mean that our focus should be on attending to today, and trusting God to meet the needs of today.
As you do so, you’ll find a growing confidence that He will meet the needs of tomorrow as well. As Bounds put it, “Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow.”
As we live in a time when many have been stripped of some of their comforts and have become fearful about their future, it is not a time for despair. It is a time to recover our faith in the One who provides daily bread to all who trust Him.
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them” (Ps.145:18,19).