Is Today's Manna Really Enough?

Let me set the stage. The Israelites were hungry. They had been traveling in the desert for a month with limited supplies, along with the added burden of believing what they did have would eventually run out. Their blood sugar, I am sure, was extremely low. They were famished and exhausted.
My daughter gets a little grumpy and has her worst meltdowns, as do I, when she has not eaten in a while. Except her “while” is maybe only a couple of hours. The Israelites had gone days wandering in the desert. How they survived is a miracle in itself.
 
The Israelites found themselves in the desert far from the land they had become comfortable in. Even though they were oppressed and enslaved in Egypt, they ate well.
 
“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” (Exodus 16:3)
 
You’ve been there, right? One minute you have everything moving in the right direction and the next, the bottom drops out and it feels as though you have nothing.
 
It is in these moments we have to ask ourselves, “is His manna for today really enough?”
 
I would like to say that I always respond with a Yes!  but I do not…at least not very gracefully.
 
God has us in a crazy place right now. I am sure many, if not most of you reading this, are in a crazy place also. Our journeys as Christians do not produce the same kind of “crazy” because we are all on different paths leading us home to the arms of our Savior.
 
This has its positives and negatives.
 
First, it is so easy to compare my tragedy with your tragedy. It is easy to say, Well, my problems do not look as bad as hers or at least I am not dealing with THAT crisis. Honestly, we cannot rate someone’s crisis. My crisis may not seem so overwhelming to someone else and his or her crisis may not seem so overwhelming to me, but it is an individual crisis. If we approach everyone’s problems from a Jesus perspective instead of a “me” perspective, we see that God is working in that person’s life somehow, someway for some purpose.
 
God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and rescued them from the pursuit of the Egyptian army. The Lord opened the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass through and closed it as the Egyptian army was swallowed up (see Exodus 13-15). Then the Lord caused a piece of wood that Moses threw in the water at Marah to change the water from bitter to good (see Exodus 15:22-25). They were scared in the desert and in their wanderings, yet God was still there.
 
He’s still there for me and for you as well…even in our complaining and groveling.
 
Second, we need to hold on to the fact that God knows exactly what He is doing...and when I say exactly, I mean exactly…to the smallest of details.
 
After the Israelites had traveled for a month, they found themselves complaining to Moses again. The Lord heard their complaints and He responded.
 
I don’t know about you, but I love that. I love that God heard their complaining (and probably their grumbling bellies) and had compassion on them. The Israelites were toeing the line of unbelief in their complaining and God, in His grace, was trying to get them to stop their unbelief before it got out of control.
 
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.” (Exodus 16:4-5)
The Israelites woke up and saw that God had delivered on His promise. There was a blanket of a flaky substance on the ground. They had no idea what it was and asked Moses what it was. “Manna” means, “what is it?” That’s the question they asked, of course. Moses had to remind them it was what God had promised to deliver and again, Moses reminded them of what God had said the day before. (see Exodus 14-16).
 
In verse 19, we see Moses give them a warning, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” Do you think they all listened?
 
No!
 
They were struggling with belief and faith. Some of them were not sure God would continue to provide. I’d like to say that I haven’t judged the Israelites, but I have. I mean, come on, God had already performed several back-to-back miracles, including one pretty big one, and yet, they still doubted that God was there for them, caring for them and providing for them? Seriously…no wonder they had to wander for forty years!
 
And then I bite my tongue…
 
Wait, how am I any different than those complaining, groveling, unbelieving Israelites?
 
Just the other day I was crying in my car over something and I thought surely the Lord has abandoned us, how is it all going to work out and maybe this is just “it” until we someday make it home to heaven….
 
But then God always meets me in those moments.
 
He ever so gently reminded me, He is Faithful (Psalm 86:15), True (John 17:3) and All Sufficient (Genesis 17:1).
 
He does not want me – He doesn’t want you – (just like He didn’t want the Israelites) to fall into unbelief or give the devil a toehold.
 
His “manna” must be sufficient enough for me today. He knows what is best for me (John 10:14), He knows what plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and He knows all my needs (Matthew 6:8).
 
If it rained down manna every day from this point forward, and only manna, would I be okay or would I try and stash some away just like the Israelites did?
 
“But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell.” (Exodus 16:20)
 
Jewish legend has it that the manna tasted differently to each person. It was uniquely created. It provided their needs and their desires according to God’s will and allowance.
I suppose the same is true still today. The “manna” He is providing to us doesn’t look like what I would call it, and if I am being honest, always what I want. But it gets the job done and allows us one more day.
 
I need to remember this each and every day and not run the risk of my “manna” being overrun with maggots.
 
When I surrendered my life to Christ, I said…Lord, take it all! That’s an uncomfortable statement if you know what it truly requires for Him to take it all.
 
J.D. Greear says in his book, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, “Sometimes He wants you to have nothing but Him so you can know that He really is enough.”
 
And you know what? He is more than enough…and His “manna” is all we truly need….

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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