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Give Us This Day our Daily Rice

by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

When my wife and I were student missionaries in Indonesia, we scraped together our meager funds along with the other student missionaries to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal.


We found most of the traditional holiday food. Some of it was not common in that country at the time. It was a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal that was totally devoid of any type of rice.

It was a daily occurrence to have some type of rice. Many times, we had rice three times a day. But on this day, there was not a grain of rice on the Thanksgiving table.

We invited the school chaplain from the school where we were teaching. He was a wonderful Indonesian man and we had really grown to love he and his family.

The chaplain accepted our invitation and we introduced him to the many different foods.


He went through the buffet line tentatively taking a small amount of food on his plate, tasting it and then deciding if he wanted a full serving.

Most times he approved of the food and took a full serving. In fact, he went back for seconds on a number of items. He also loved the American desserts. At least he said that he did.

After the meal and conversation, he stood up and declared that it was time for him to go home. We asked why so soon to which he declared, “Well, I need to go eat some rice.”

You see to him it was not a real meal unless there was rice on the table. So even though he was full with all the great food that we had prepared, he still felt the need to go home and get some rice so that he felt like he had really had a meal.

For different cultures, the daily food may be different. It could be rice, bread, corn or maize or any number of things.

Different cultures have different comfort foods that they have to have to feel full.

When Jesus walked this earth, He declared in John 6:48 that He was the Bread of Life. Here you can insert whatever is your common food.


I think He was saying to us that we shouldn’t feel full until we have Him in our life on a daily basis.

We can be full of all sorts of other things that are offered to us. Some of them may even be good. But no matter what we may have in our lives there is an emptiness without the indwelling of Jesus and His love and assurance in our lives.

So, this week please take the time to seek out Jesus and pray Lord, give us this day our daily bread, rice, or maize.