It appears I’ve been taking more than my daily ration of “manna” this summer. A few too many late evening ice cream cones at Lucy’s and way too many vanilla lattes (with whip, yes) at my favorite coffee shop have pushed the scales a good decade past where I began the summer. So now instead of that lingering 10 pounds I’ve been fighting to lose……..well, you get the idea.
We always want more, don’t we? In a nation where most of us have all we need to survive and thrive, we’re urged to believe we deserve to have it all. Anything we want whenever we want. If I can get it, why not have it?
Today, after a Sunday of corporate worship in preparation to feed starving children, the images of those hungry little ones are still fresh in my mind’s eye.
And I turn to Exodus 16 to read this:
“I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”
God provides. In the desert a thousand years ago and in our world today, He provides.
The World Health Organization says the world’s farmers produce more than enough food to the feed earth’s inhabitants. Some estimates say we could feed ourselves 1 1/2 times over. The problem is access, and it’s not an easy problem to solve. With poverty and war blocking the way, it’s difficult to get food to those who need it most. So we do what we can. We raise money and package meals and we pray the food gets into the hands of the hungry.
Back to the Israelites. God heard their grumbling and said to their leader, Moses: “Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
Only after meeting their need did God expect they would acknowledge Him as their God. But in that provision was a test. The Lord delivered on the condition that they take just enough for each day. Just enough to fill their bellies until the next morning, so that He could bless them again. Fresh manna from heaven. Each and every day. For 40 years.
Being the stupid people they were (nothing has changed) they tried to take more than their share. A hedge against hunger, when the One who provided had already promised there would be enough.
God desires to bless us out of His abundance in our time of need. When — in our self-made abundance — we fail to see our deepest need, when we scramble and grumble to be sure we’ll always have enough and then some, do we miss the blessing? Do we miss His best gift for us?
The food we send to those hungry children in Guatemala, Afghanistan, Honduras, Ukraine — and the United States of America — is designed to be enough in preparation for His greatest blessing. Because when a tummy is full, a heart can open to acknowledge the Bread of Life (John 6:35).