One of my favorite Bible stories is God’s provision of bread in the wilderness. The Israelites grumbled because they had no food, so God gave them manna from heaven. The flaky food would appear on the ground in the morning. They could gather as much as they liked, but it didn’t do any good to store it up. With the exception of the Sabbath eve when they were allowed to gather the next day’s portion, if they kept manna overnight it became full of worms with a terrible smell. I’m sure they didn’t make that mistake more than a couple of times.
It may have taken a while for the children of Israel to trust that the manna would be there the next morning. They had to adjust to going to bed with full stomachs but empty cupboards. You might have thought that once they learned the lesson, God would have started feeding them some other way, but Exodus 16:35 says: “The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
One Day at a Time
It’s a great feeling when you can stock up on food and paper products at a wholesale store and know you won’t have to go back for months. But God doesn’t allow us to stock up on his grace. He gives it to us one day at a time, just as he gave his people manna. And just as they waited for daily bread for 40 years, we wait on daily grace for a lifetime.
You see, once you start walking in daily dependence on God, you have to keep walking in it. God’s desire is to be in fellowship with us, and one way he draws us into that fellowship is by meeting our needs one day at a time. He doesn’t just give us what we need; he wants to give us himself. He gives us himself through his Word. The trials that make us crave the life-giving sustenance of the daily nourishment of Scripture are like the hunger pains that drive us to the daily food our bodies need to survive.
Your needs for today may not be all that daunting, but the thought of what it will take to persevere for a lifetime can be overwhelming. Maybe singleness isn’t so bad today, but can you bear it for the rest of your life? Maybe you have peace in the face of your cancer diagnosis, but where will you get the strength to cope with seemingly endless cycles of chemotherapy?