Our Daily Bread

It was a time of great discouragement. I was on maternity leave from my job, expecting our fourth child, and my husband was ill and temporarily out of work. With very little income, three small children in school, and mounting medical expenses, the unpaid bills had accumulated. More serious was the fact there was no food left in the house, except a small amount of ground beef and half a box of oatmeal.

“What are we going to do?” my husband asked.

“Oh, we’ll make out,” I told him with quite a bit more conviction than I really felt, “I’ll mix the meat with the oatmeal and make hamburgers. The oatmeal will stretch it.”

“There is no bread,” he said.

“God will supply our needs,” I assured him, not wishing to add to his worries.

I began to mix the meat with the oatmeal. Only after my husband left the room did I allow the tears to flow. My faith was so very weak, but I had to be strong for his sake. He was close to a complete nervous breakdown. He was a good husband and father, and I knew he was worried. I knew from having been reared in a Christian home that God would supply our needs, but I had become weary. I rolled the meat into patties, softly praying.

“I don’t have any new words left to pray,” I thought and I felt very repetitious when I began to whisper audibly,

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name . . .”

I stumbled over the next lines of the familiar prayer, and then with a new surge of faith I whispered, “Give us this day our daily bread . . . our daily bread . . . please Jesus . . .”

I wiped the tears with the end of my apron and placed the patties in the pan atop the stove.

I heard a knock at the front door. My husband was resting and the children outside playing. I went to the door. A woman I worked with stood there, two bags in her arms. The first thing I noticed was a loaf of bread protruding from the top of one bag.

“I hope you won’t be offended,” she said smiling, “but I had the strangest thing happen to me when I was shopping for groceries. Just as I was putting the bread in the cart I had the strongest impression to buy you a loaf or two, also. I took the liberty of buying a few other items and some candy for the children.”

A few minutes later our family gathered at the table, joined hands, and thanked God for His blessings. “

I know that God is going to supply our needs!” I said with new assurance, “even if He has to send it by the president of the United States!”

The next morning, after the children had gone to school, a lady came to our door. She explained that she was with the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

“We heard you were having it a bit hard right now,” she said, “and we’d like to help.”

She backed a station wagon up to the door. It took several trips to carry all the food into the house. I noticed the large containers. There were 25-pound bags of flour, rice, sugar, grits, and other items. Groceries were all over the table, the cabinets, the chairs.

It was only after the lady left that I noticed the lettering on the side of each package:

       Washington, D.C. Food Surplus Program

       By order of John F. Kennedy

       President of the United States

Again the tears flowed. I saw again the glimmer of faith in my husband’s eyes.

“Our Father,” I whispered again, “Hallowed be thy name.”

That happened in 1961. The children are all grown now, but never have they forgotten how God watched over us and provided us with “our daily bread.”

Olivia Liles

Herald of Holiness November 15, 1980


Please note: This article was originally published in 1980. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.