Daily Bread


“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

Rachel McCord, Staff Writer

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. I have gone from feeling immeasurable joy and on top of the world to feeling as if there is no reason to live anymore. The smallest things can make me happy and, in the same way, the smallest thing can ruin my entire day.

The first thing that comes to my mind is optimism. I should just think of things in a better light: “be optimistic.” Optimism is a choice to see things in a better light, and it is an extremely important value; however, in the midst of life and all the ordeals that come with it, I cannot remain joyful by any amount of optimism I will myself to have. I cannot be the source of my joy, because I am unreliable. My emotions shift and change and no matter how often I may will myself to “be happy,” I need another constant source to fill me up.

In this season of my life, I have found myself unconsciously expecting the joy I found yesterday to sustain me into today. I have foolishly believed that I can create happiness or joy myself by simply “being optimistic.” The moments of immense joy I have had during worship or in the midst of loving friends are amazing; however, these moments cannot sustain me through the days that seem to only consist of the motions. I need to be filled up daily, continually.

I feel overwhelmed by my neediness, weaknesses, inabilities and shortcomings, but, somehow, there is a joy and peace in the realization that I am not enough on my own, because this reveals the beautiful truth that I do not have to be enough on my own. Whenever I fall short, all I have to do is look to Jesus. He is and always will be the source of my strength and joy, and He never runs out of these things. He is infinitely and immeasurably good, and He is a constant source of nourishment and daily bread.

“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” Mother Teresa’s words remind me of the importance of constantly coming back to Christ for my joy and strength. The joy I found in Him yesterday will not sustain me into today; I need to come back to Him daily. This reinforces my dependence on Him and continues to humble me.

I recently read through the Lord’s prayer and came out with a new perspective on one of the verses: “Give us this day our daily bread.” We need food to survive, but we do not only eat once a week and hope that it brings us through the rest of the week. In fact, we do not even eat once day. We eat and then a few hours later, our bodies need more nourishment, and the food that we eat provides us with strength and energy. In the same way that our bodies are being worn down throughout the day, our spirits are being drained, as well. We are surrounded by terrible situations, and it is not long before we feel completely drained and hopeless. Time spent with Jesus is daily bread, something that I need weekly, daily, even hourly.

Every season of life is different, and I have attempted to “fix” each situation in my own way, coming up with a short checklist of how I can make everything okay. I breathe and smile and tell myself that everything will be alright. But it never works. No matter how happy I may have been yesterday, the realities of today will squelch any optimism that I may try to generate. Christ is the only true source of joy that I can depend on. Thank God for this.