Tuesday, May 03, 2005

When It Rains It Pours

When you take a long trip, where do you get food to eat? Yeah, of course: Fast Food. Or if you are one of those "Cleaver/Huxtable/Brady type families you might pack your lunch in a picnic and take it along. You know if you think about it, the Israelites were on a really long trip. Where were they going to get food? They couldn't carry enough to last them. They didn't stay any place long enough to grow any. There were no stores to stop at. No McDonald's, Bell, or KFC. And they numbered a million or more people. That's a lot to feed. Probably wouldn't want to work the drive through on that day.

It wasn't too long before the people began to complain, "We wish the Lord had killed us in Egypt, where we had plenty to eat. You brought us out to the wilderness to die of hunger." The Israelites tended to concentrate on their current troubles rather than look to the past for encouragement. Instead of remembering the great things God had done to free them from slavery, they spent time complaining about their hunger. The obvious question: "Hello, Israelites, do you think God went to all that trouble, just to watch you die for lack of food?"

God told Moses he would "rain bread from heaven" for them. He provided Manna, a new food that appeared with the dew each morning as small, white, round pieces. The Israelites were to gather each day the amount of food they needed for that day. No more, no less. Each day God would give them that day's food. They were to trust him each day for the very food they ate. On the sixth day, he would provide two day's food, so no one would work to gather it on the Sabbath. If one of them was mistrustful, and tried to stock up, the food would melt or rot away. The Israelites baked, boiled and prepared the manna several ways. It tasted sweet, like wafers made with honey.

I don't know about you, but I can relate to those Israelites! Kim and I are in a season of total dependence on the Lord. Since August of '03 we have been on a "long trip" and while our numbers are a million (five to be exact) and we weren't previously in a slavery situation the similarities are significant. I find myself desperately wanting to "stockpile bread" so that I won't have to be so dependent on the Lord. I can't. That, like the manna that the Israelites tried to keep, stinks! Many days my attitude is rotten and my complaining outweighs my remembering.

But the inescapable fact is that this is exactly where God has lead us and he has us right where he wants us. God has always been faithful and met all our needs (and a lot of our wants) and I know I can trust Him. A word that God has pressed upon my heart lately is Proverbs 3:5 which reminds me: "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not upon YOUR own understanding!" Often I find myself trying to trust in myself with all of my heart and leaning everything I have on my own understanding. That approach leaves me hungry.

I am glad that God has me and my family on this trip. I know the promise land awaits!

Rain on God. Pour your manna from heaven. How sweet it truly is!

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