One of my favorite things about France was seeing all the people carrying their “daily pain” from the tiny bakeries that dotted every street. I soon learned that pain in French means bread and that french people love their pain and I wanted what they had! I wanted to walk to the bakery every day and get some daily pain!
My family thought I was crazy but they indulged my want and so each day as we strolled by the tiny bakeries, they let me go in and wait in line with all the people to get my daily pain. As my eyes lustfully wandered I couldn’t just stop with the baguettes. The croissants were heavenly and especially the pain au chocolat (the croissants with chocolate inside)as I made them my breakfast of choice every day we were in France!
Greeted by the bakery staff with a lilting “bon jour” that always sounded up beat and happy, I became quite proficient in asking for my daily pain in French. At times their puzzled look told me I wasn’t as good with my french pronunciations as I thought but each visit to the bakery made me more confident as I attempted to communicate in their language for my daily pain.
Where I Got My Daily Pain
This is Paul an iconic 127 year old family owned bakery chain (now worldwide) that provided my daily pain.
I LOVE Paul! I loved seeing and smelling all the rustic breads and my guess is that the fantasy is all the other bakery treats that made my mouth water.
No More Daily Pain?
This morning I was reminiscing about our daily pain in France. It just doesn’t seem the same driving my car to the bakery at Safeway, grabbing a baguette and a pain au chocolat and driving home without even a bon jour or merci.
I miss my daily pain from France!! I miss that I felt so free of guilt while in France embracing their daily pain culture. I didn’t think about the calories! I didn’t even care if the scale showed an increase when I returned home! I simply wanted to experience what it was like to be in their world filling myself up with their daily pain.
My Daily Pain Culture
As much as I loved walking to the bakery each day for my daily pan in France, I can fill myself up with the real daily pain (bread) of God’s Word available to me every day. I don’t have to walk anywhere to get it, I don’t have to wait in line and best of all there are no calories and no fear of an increase on the scale as I fill myself up each day!
My daily pain culture consists of getting up a little earlier in the morning than everyone else, making a hot cup of tea (it used to be coffee until I eliminated coffee from my diet this past January!) and then I sit down in a comfy chair and read through a daily Bible reading plan. What that will accomplish for me is that I will read through the entire Bible in a year and it gives me a clearer understanding of who God is and what He is saying in His Word. The daily Bible reading plan is more than a daily devotional reading (those are good too!), so you just have to decide what your goal is. Do you want to just fill yourself up with the daily pain (bread) or do you want to really nourish your soul?
Do you want to know why God made us and do you wonder about your life purpose and how do you fit into this world and the plans God has for you? Reading through the Bible helps us understand God’s story, which in turn helps us truly discover and understand our own story.
There are many different daily reading plans for our daily pain (bread). Here are a few that I have used in the past:
Charles Stanley’s Life Principles Daily Bible: Biblical Principles for Each Day of the Year. This is my favorite as it has you reading daily beginning January 1 in Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs and Matthew and then woven throughout the text are life lessons which correspond to his 30 Life Principles book. By the end of the year you have read through the entire Bible and gotten additional text for how to understand what the Bible teaches.
The One Year Chronological Bible. This daily reading Bible is actually arranged chronologically in order as the events actually occurred so that you read the whole Bible as a single story seeing the unfolding of God’s plan in history. And by the end of the book you will have read through the entire Bible.
The Daily Walk Bible, Explore God’s Path to Life. This Bible begins January 1 and takes you through the entire Bible in a year. At the beginning of each day there is an overview of the reading, a daily walk encouragement for how to apply the truths of God’s Word and an insight offering facts to the daily reading.
The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Daily Bible. In this Bible the days are numbered and are not set by date so you can begin this reading anytime of the year and go at your own pace. It is designed to have you read the passage for the day (it begins with Genesis on day 1), then you take some time to reflect and meditate on specific verses from the text, then you contemplate thoughts from various authors throughout Christian history and then you respond to the text by praying it through.
Jesus said “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Jesus satisfies our spiritual hunger as the true “living bread” and he nourishes the deep spiritual longings of our souls as we trust in Him. He is our daily pain and nothing compares. Not even the yummy daily pain of France.
As you begin to look for your daily pain (bread) from God’s Word, take some time to sit with the Lord first, asking Him to show you what it is He wants for you to see and learn from the text. The goal here is to draw closer to God and to learn what it means to abide in Him. Mark Batterson describes the word abide as “a present imperative verb, which indicates a continual action. It’s not something we start and stop; it’s something we do for the rest of our lives. And we do more of it. The goal is to get closer and closer to God. And the way we do this is by abiding in His word…we have to abide in the Word of God and let the Word of God abide in us” (From: Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, p. 167) (John 15:7).
My daily walk to the bakery in France for my daily pain of baguettes and pain au chocolat was something that I could start when we got there and something I had to stop when I returned home. I wanted to do more of it after returning home and I tried but it just wasn’t the same and it wasn’t sustainable! But taking a daily walk through God’s Word is! Anytime and anywhere! And…the benefits are eternal!
My prayer for you is that as you begin to abide in the daily pain (bread) of God’s Word you will encounter God in new ways as you grow closer to Him.