October 28, 2021

Providence

Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
Jeremiah 3:23
What a blessing it is to be a direct recipient of God's lovingkindness. In life, we are surrounded by God's love and God's care, and most of the time we do not even realize it—most of the time it's not even visible to the eyes or perceptible to any of the other senses. What we do perceive often comes from a more mundane source, and we are either slow to thank God for it, or quick to forget what God has done.
Take, for example, hungry people in the wilderness. In the Hebrew Bible, God rains manna down upon them from heaven. But in the New Testament, we find seven loaves of bread provided by a baker and a few fish left over from a fisherman's catch. Jesus gives thanks for them and then gives them to his disciples. It is only then that the disciples distribute the food to the people—thousands of them. It is probably some time before they're even aware that a miracle is taking place. And even so, we see that they quickly forget it, for where are they a few days later?

God provided for the people's needs, but it passed through many hands before it reached them—the farmer, the baker, the fishermen, Jesus, the disciples. And so it is with us on a constant basis. God's direct, steadfast love surrounds us at all times. And God's nurture comes to us daily through our neighbors far and near. Let us never fail to give thanks for what our ancestors called Providence.

Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he divided the food and gave it to his followers, and they gave it to the people.
 Matthew 15:35-36 (NCV)
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Break thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me, 
as thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek thee, Lord—
my spirit pants for thee, O living Word!
 Mary A. Lathbury (1877)
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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