I’ve always been fascinated by the story of God’s provision of manna and quail for the Israelites in the desert. Learning about it as a child, I wondered what it would be like to live on “honey wafers” for forty years. And was the quail ready to eat? Or did they have to kill the poor birds first?
But the message behind it was clear: God provides. Listen to his instructions. Don’t deviate, or you’ll end up with maggots in your jar.
If you’re not familiar with this Bible story, God instructs his people to trust that he will provide daily food for them while they are wandering in the desert. They should only take what they need for the day (and double the day before the Sabbath so they can rest). Each morning was manna (carbs!), and every evening was quail (protein!) For those who took too much, they saw their stash turn rotten.
Take what you need and no more. You will have plenty, and there will be more tomorrow.
As a control freak with an anxiety disorder, I’m pretty sure I would have found out about the maggot deal first hand.
I so would have wanted to gather up extra manna and quail so that I could rest assured that tomorrow was taken care of. It makes total sense to someone with control issues. Why would I leave extra manna on the ground when it’s right there to collect? It’ll go to waste…who wants waste? What if I’m unable to get out there tomorrow and get my share? I better gather up some more…
For me, this is a continual life struggle:
Trusting in tomorrow’s manna.
Today’s manna is right before me, but…what about tomorrow?
As my family is in the early stages of a new life chapter with my husband starting his own business, boy do I wish I could see tomorrow’s manna.
But that’s just it. I don’t get to see it—I have to trust in that which I cannot see.
Let’s just say I’m not always a natural at this.
I’ve had this lesson played out for me so many times it’s ridiculous. I am so grateful God is patient with me. I picture him just shaking his head with a wry smile that I am again trying to scoop up extra manna. “There she goes again…That girl is a knucklehead. I love her, but…man, she’s a knucklehead.”
It’s hard for me not to worry about tomorrow when I am me—and especially as a mom and wife. But that is exactly what we are continually reminded to do. Period.
And while there is the physical provision of life, there is also the spiritual provision that is promised, too. I find that when I am caught up in the worry of the “physical manna” that my “spiritual manna” suffers more, and the irony is that whenever I make it a point to gather the spiritual, the physical feels bolstered, too. You’d think I would remember the order of priority, right? Knucklehead alert.
It often feels like a battle of multiple personalities. On the one hand, I know to trust. And on the other, I trust that I need to know. One day will feel calm and secure in the belief that the manna will be there every day until we reach the Promised Land. The next day I might be awash with anxiety for what tomorrow may—or may not—bring.
Thankfully, one thing I have absolutely unwavering faith about is that God loves knuckleheads. This bodes very well for me. On the days where I find myself scrambling for more manna than I should, I know I am forgiven.
And as a continual work in progress, I am grateful to see that through this past chapter of life challenges I have found myself growing in trust of tomorrow’s manna. Maybe it’s just exhaustion that is helping me say “enough” or maybe I’m finally catching on. Whatever the reason, I have a weathered sense that tomorrow when I wake there will be plenty to fill my jar.
Plenty and just enough—the way God intended.
10 thoughts on “Trusting in Tomorrow’s Manna”
Reblogged this on A Simple Mind and commented:
I think the manna story was captured well here. We have a mid-week manna service at a recovery house, where I am at.
Thanks for the reblog! I’d love to hear more about the manna service.
Well said. Just enough is all we need. That is a hard ‘manna’ to swallow in the age of storing up for tomorrow(refrigerator), next week(freezer), next year(savings account), retirement(401K), inheritance(insurance policy), etc.
Yes…it is the fine balance between being responsible in planning for the future and trusting that God will provide. Thanks for the comment!
A thought provoking story and a well written one that summed up your thoughts so nicely. Some store so much and still it spoils, while others have very little.
So true, Michelle. And that is one of the hard things to reconcile in this world. Some have SO, so much…But then one wonders if they have the true riches of life, too. Thanks for your comment!
Hebrews 11: 1-Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. One of my favorites. Easy to have when everything is going well– that’s when our faith seems strongest–ironically when we least need it. I figure God knew how easily our faith could shrivel up so He made sure His promises were evidenced throughout history–from long before Jesus walked on this earth up to this very moment. He keeps His promises to never leave you-never to forsake you. That is the experience I’ve been exposed to for fifty years. As much as I doubt sometimes–and you know I have– I still come back to Him-at times inexplicably, looking for His arms extended out to take me back in. I know He will be there- He’s never let me down. I yearn to live faith-fully- without hesitation.
Kathleen’s “word” while she
journeyed with cancer was GRACE,
and I’ve also come to find comfort
in it, too. No matter our life circumstances,
we are all blessed with grace. It’s
not something that can be bought,
sold, earned or lost. It’s just something
that we are born with and carry all our
days. I like to think that this grace will
provide that spiritual nourishment you
write about, and hence, help erase
anxiety about the future. But worry
is always a struggle–it’s human!
Grace, peace, and mercy to you, my friend!