Saturday, March 20, 2010

Are you grumbling about your manna?

The Lord has plans to prosper His children. He makes continual promises that we should not fear, because He knows our needs, and He will supply them. Matthew 6:31-34 is one example. The verses say, "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The People were wandering in the desert and had gotten mightily hungry. (Exodus 16) They began longing for the time of their captivity because at least then, they had bread and meat (Exodus 16:3). They began to grumble against Moses and against the LORD.

So, "Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction." (Exodus 16:4)

The economic crash has been long, hard, and painful. Many people, Christians included, have lost jobs, have faced foreclosure, and have had to undergo extreme austerity measures (voluntarily or involuntarily). Pension plans are wiped out. Americans have been so used to prosperity that we have planned for it in the long-term with retirement accounts that we expected to remain full and fuller as time went on. We expected that after ten or twenty or thirty years that we would of course sell our houses and reap a comfortable profit. We were used to corporate loyalty and lengthy terms of employment, if not permanent ones, if we obtain tenure or have a strong union to back us. Long-term perspectives of our own personal wealth was the norm.

Long-term is no longer the norm. The weather, the economy, the animals, the government, the individual...all are behaving strangely now. God is lifting His Hand and we see the result of having less than full protection as we adjust to the new reality.

Yet, God said He would supply us. I can almost hear the prayers of Christians who beg for supply. Who pray for restoration of what they once had. I can almost hear many brothers and sisters crying out, "Where is it?? 'My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.' (Philippians 4:19) So where is it?"

It is in Matthew 6 and it is in Exodus 16. "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself." and "the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day." God IS supplying you, faithful one. He just may be doing it in a manna situation, a one-day supply instead of extra, like before. He sent the Israelites a one day portion delivered, on time, every time. He even made it so that their clothes did not wear out. (Deut 29:5) The LORD told Moses that He was doing it to test them. Not that God didn't know the outcome of the test, like He needed to learn something, but that He wanted to restrict their supply so that they would learn to more faithfully depend on Him. Is that your situation? Could you be undergoing a test so that you will learn to depend on Him to greater degree and be strengthened for trials?

Do not worry about what you will eat nor what you shall wear. Do not worry about tomorrow. He provides. Think of the Israelites. Think on His promises to keep us and provide for us. If you only have enough today, do not fret, for you are blessed with bread from heaven!

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