There have been times when life's struggles are boiled down to the bare essentials. I remember in Seminary when I was cooking one evening. The menu was leftover Brunswick Stew (always better the second day) because it combined several of the leftovers we had. Money, time and food were commodities that were scarce so we treasured hearty meals that could combine something good for us with something that was frugal. I was reheating the stew in the ceramic crock pot that I had used to cook the stew the day before. This would save time and I would have one less dish to wash. My mouth was watering for the meal and I had even cooked cornbread as a side. Then I found out something I never knew. When you used a microwave to rapidly heat food in a ceramic crock pot, the crock pot couldn't handle the rapid increase in temperature. As I moved the hot stew across the room the entire bottom came off the crock pot and a column of hot stew sped to the floor and exploded into every nook and cranny in the entire downstairs of that house. I expect that old Methodist parsonage still has spots of stew we never found when we cleaned up.
I was sad we had lost our meal for several reasons. First, it was about all we had ... plan B was ramen noodles. We struggled for the food we had (something that was a new experience in the poverty of seminary) and the loss of even one meal was something that was felt financially and, that day, even emotionally. Second, I liked Brunswick Stew ... it was a treat that was rare in those days of eating what we could scrounge up and afford. Finally, the struggle for daily bread reminded all of us of the value of a good meal and the luxury of having a meal we actually liked.
I wonder if that part of the Lord's Prayer is all about appreciating whatever you have? When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" are we truly appreciative of God's gifts to us? The air we breathe? The food we have? The roof over our heads? Do we really believe we will thrive today on God, ourselves and what life sends our way? "Lord, forgive me for expecting life without struggle. Teach me, in the struggles I face every day, that I can learn, thrive and have joy, even when the pickins are meager. Remind me that 90% of the world would love to have what I count as inadequate. Remind me that the world owes me nothing and that You have given be far more than I ever needed because you are an extravagant God who blesses His children. Grow my thankfulness and give me a heart for the needs of others, not my own (1 Cor. 10:24). AMEN!"