Borrowed Bread; how a cancer diagnosis had me grasping for future grace

I’ve always been prone to fretting about the “what ifs,” but with conscious effort and prayer over the years I’ve become more experienced at resting in God’s perfect provision. A recent message I shared at my church came back to “preach” to me again and again as I awaited unexpected biopsy results taken the day after I delivered a message on trusting God. My surprise malignant melanoma diagnosis and surgery had me grasping for borrowed bread, for assurance of the future, for the promise that everything was going to be okay meaning, to go the way I wanted.

My initial “aha” moment regarding borrowed grace, used interchangeably here with bread, came from my favorite devotional I turn to during difficult seasons. I’ve probably shared this January 6th entry with my readers before from “Streams in the Desert,” but it speaks to me every time.

“God does not open paths for us before we come to them or provide help before help is needed. He does not remove obstacles out of our way before we reach them. Yet when we are at our point of need, God’s hand is outstretched.

Many people forget this truth and continually worry about difficulties they envision in the future… Many people dread death and are distressed that they do not have “dying grace.” Of course, they will never have the grace for death when they are in good health. Why should they have it while in the midst of life’s duties with death still far away? LIVING GRACE (emphasis mine) is what is needed for life’s work and calling, and then dying grace when it is time to die.” J.R.M.

If I look at the news, at our circumstances, around at the stormy seas looming and threatening, I start to worry. My eyes become fixated on the hatred, fear, and uncontrolled anger, even and especially among the family of God. I see death and disease. I start to fear for our nation, our children, and our world. I become fixed on hoarding bread for the future instead of trusting God for the portion I need in the moment.

I forget that my hope is not hinged on the outcome of an election or the cure for a global pandemic, or the result of a biopsy. I can hope FOR those outcomes, but they are not the SOURCE of my hope. Beyond elections and cures and results, there will still be wars and rumors of wars, violence, dreaded diseases, terminal illnesses, and death. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!

When I try to borrow tomorrow’s bread, I wonder how I will face a hypothetical future, the one created by media, conspiracy theories, and my own fallen mind. I forget that God has met me in every circumstance with the exact grace I need for that moment. I don’t need grace for the future and whatever that holds today. I need today’s portion. Jesus prayed, “give us this DAY our DAILY bread.” I don’t need to grasp for yesterday’s crumbs or tomorrow’s excess. I need to rest in today’s grace, which he promised is sufficient for me.

Jesus said in John 14:21 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

My surgery was successful. I’m in the throes of recovery with no further treatment needed, other than close monitoring for several years. While I rejoice in that outcome, I know more than ever the absurdity of placing my hope and trust in anything other than God with me past, God with me present, God with me future, God with me into eternity.

Our son needed stitches in his knee just a few days before my surgery, so we were “stitches buddies” for a while.

When the future looms uncertain, when the present seems overwhelming, we can rest in God’s agape love, His universal, empathetic, furious, relentless, never-stopping, never-giving-up-on-us love and know that He will meet us again and again at the point of our need. He will give us this day our daily bread, and tomorrow he will do the same, and next week, and next month and next year. Day by day and with each passing moment, he will supply us with all the grace we need for each moment. He is our Daily Bread.




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