First, a confession: As a woman of privilege, I’ve rarely wanted for daily bread. But last March, while I stared at barren grocery shelves, panic rose. I worried how I would keep my family safe and fed—a question I’d revisit regularly in the weeks our nation fought the spread of COVID-19. 

“Selfish hoarders bought all the Lysol and toilet paper,” I fumed to my husband later while we unloaded bags of food. Yet we both knew I’d bought the last 10 bags of frozen broccoli on what would be our last grocery run for weeks. Days earlier, the governor had issued a shelter-in-place order. My job had gone remote, and my husband’s contract work had come to a full stop. 

Jay dangled the broccoli and chuckled, “Babe, I think we have enough. And there’s extra toilet paper in the closet. We’ll be fine.” I wanted to believe him, but news of the virus’ exponential growth, stocks tanking and hospitals short on supplies left my stomach in knots. 

That night, I tossed in the sheets, agonizing over everything I thought we lacked—clear federal leadership, financial security, a country rooted in community rather than capitalism and, yes, Lysol. Underneath my anger, I feared we’d lose people we loved or even face death. The widespread loss and more to come overwhelmed me. 

Days later, at nap time, my son asked, “Mommy, why is Daddy’s grandma sick?” 

“I don’t know, honey,” I said. “A lot of people are getting sick right now. That’s why we’re home on staycation—to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.” 

I glanced at the family prayer book on his nightstand. When was the last time we had used this? 

“When will staycation end?” he asked. 

Again I answered, “I don’t know.” In my not knowing, I realized how much I longed for someone to save us from this mess. So often I live out the reverse—taking the burden of providing food, safety and guidance onto my own shoulders. But that’s God’s job. 

“Mommy, I don’t like this,” my son said, his voice growing agitated. 

“I don’t either,” I said, pulling him close. “Hey, do you want to pray together?” 

Trusting in God’s provision has never been easy for me, especially during crises. As I write, we don’t know if my husband’s grandmother will recover, so we continue to pray for healing. Nor do we know how this chapter in history will end. But there’s one story to which we know the ending—the Savior’s. Families can lean into Jesus’ story for daily bread.

Practices

  • Memory verse: Have your family memorize Jesus’ words from John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever.” 
  • Sing of contentment: Teach your children the melody to “What We Need Is Here” by Amy McCreath. 
Erin Strybis
Erin Strybis is a content editor of Living Lutheran and member of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago. Find more of her stories on Instagram (@erinstry) and at erinstry.com.

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