The miracle that is a paycheck

…nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
                                                               1 Timothy 6:17b

“Daily bread” is the theme of our Bible studies this week and left me searching the catechism to understand this concept further. I was struck by Luther’s lengthy list in his explanation of the Fourth petition. The question for what is meant by daily bread is followed by quite the list, when most of the explanations are short by comparison. (This was not lost on my children doing their memory work!)

Luther’s list includes: 
   anything to support the body
   home (interestingly two different things) 😉
   a devout husband or wife
   devout children
   devout workers
   devout and faithful rulers
   good government
   good weather (rain and shine, even snow!)
   good reputation
   good friends
   faithful neighbors
   “the like” 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has nothing on Luther. The reality is that every single thing is a gift from God of provision. He causes the sun to rise and set, our heart to beat, and gives the oxygen for our lungs. Without Him, we have nothing, and Luther’s list form helps us to remember that.

This made me think of all the things I belly-ache not having, or my complaints about stretching the grocery budget, or excessive health insurance co-pays and God gently reminded me:

     we get paid for this.
So often in church work land we can lose site of the basic miracle that churches come together, by the grace of God. They pool funds, they build buildings, they create children’s programs, and they
      pay for pastors.

Do not lose the remarkable of this in the day to day of ministry, especially when you feel devalued and unloved. God has provided daily bread, not just in the form of a paycheck, but a paycheck, no matter how small, that says “We value what you do so much, we don’t want you to have to make tents. We want you to spend your time feeding us, filling us with Him.” Churches in all their struggle throughout time, exist. That alone is a beautiful testament to God’s provision. In our culture, God takes it one step further. Most of us do this full-time. Some of you are worker priests or “part-time” church workers and can testify perhaps the more so to the amazing way God provides time and again. 

Thank you Lord, for every little thing, every big thing, and every small miracle. Thank you for faithful people and your provision in Faithfulness when we are not. Thank you, Lord, for churches and paychecks, and tents to build and all of your goodness in plenty and in want. You, Lord, You are sufficient.

Join us in proclaiming God’s provision in our lives in the #dailybread challenge. For 2 weeks, add #dailybread in post of people in your lives, places you go, and things you enjoy- recognizing every single thing in our lives comes from God. 

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