I would have made a great Ancient Israelite.
Seriously. I am an expert at forgetting how God has provided for me in the past. I’m even worse at taking what He has done and seeing how it applies to what I’m facing now. And then sometimes God provides and I look at it and I say, “What is this?”
Do you know how the Ancient Israelites would have said “What is this?” They would have said it “manna”. Yes, manna, the bread that God literally delivered from heaven so that they would have food. They didn’t understand His provision and they weren’t sure they trusted it, so they tried to store it up, just in case.
Even when I am daily receiving of God’s goodness and mercy, I fail to trust that He will provide for tomorrow. I try to hoard up God’s manna and it never works. I’m full of back up plans and a belief that what I can create is better than what God has created for me, but of course, just like the Israelites, you can’t store up manna. God provides every day a new bounty, and I have to trust that.
Some days I get frustrated and tired with the way this world is. I’m stuck looking at the what-is-this in my hands and I’m failing to see that God provided even this for me, for the world.
How can a God who claims to be love not save children and widows and entire nations from suffering? What did I do to deserve to grow up in an affluent community in the United States of America with parents who could provide for my every need and most of my wants as well?
I hate that the answers to those questions are “I don’t know”. I hate that there’s nothing I can do to know, that there’s no one I can ask who knows, nothing I can read to find out. I can ask God, I can read the promises He has for me, but I cannot know on this side of heaven the answer to the question, “Why me? Why not them?” And I hate that.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
I pray for faith as strong as Habakkuk’s and I pray that as I continue to receive that which I do not understand, I would trust and thank God for the manna.
What’s the “manna” in your life? How has God provided in unexpected and maybe confusing ways?