This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Scripture: “Lord! Give us this bread always” (John: 6,34)
"This was a true prayer. Each of us needs such a prayer on a daily basis. But those that asked the Savior for this did not understand what they were asking for.
"The same thing often happens with us. That which we desire often is not that which the Lord intends for us. He prepares for us a great spiritual gift, but we look for earthly and material benefits.
"Through God’s mercy we have an Intercessor, the Holy Spirit, who transmits our requests, and in reply to our erroneous and unwise prayers He sends us not what we expected, but something higher and better.
"All his life Abraham looked for a land which he did not reach. But he received something better – he acquired an increase of faith, and his thoughts and desires began to seek a spiritual treasure – the only true one.
“The same thing happens with us: disillusioned with our dreams, we often do not receive what we ask the Lord for, but instead we receive the exceptional grace which we had no concept of. Following our difficult path in life, we strive for the phantom of unrealizable happiness, but the Lord leads us, step by step, over invisible stairs, to the only true and eternal bliss.”
I couldn’t think of a Lewis quote on this subject, but then thought that all of Lewis’s Christian life was about seeking and writing about “the bread of life”. Apparently, he had no interest in keeping most of the money he earned from his books. This is what Lyle Dorsett writes in his biography of Lewis’s wife, “And God Came In”:
“In truth, Joy saved Jack a lot of money. After moving into the Kilns she took over his checkbook, discovering thousands of pounds he did not even know he had. Furthermore, she encouraged him to take his small fortune out of a checking account and put it into a savings account and investments so that he could earn some interest on his capital. Lewis was a notoriously poor manager of his own finances. Indeed when he and Warnie were ready to purchase the Kilns back in 1930, the major discovered nearly 900 pounds in their account that Jack had entirely lost track of. Clearly, there was a need for better record keeping and stewardship. C.S. Lewis was not a wealthy man. He received but a modest salary from the University, and almost all of his royalties went into a charitable trust. Those funds underwrote numerous worthy causes, among them the educations of many seminarians , and Douglas and David Gresham’s school expenses at Dane Court. The advent of Joy, David, and Douglas cost Lewis some money. Not that Jack complained – he did not. However, Joy was pleased to be able to repay him, and probably with interest, by tidying up his accounts.”
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)