Bread. Yum. Just imagine the smell of it rising. It’s the ultimate comfort food that pairs so well with anything from fruit to meats and even peanut butter. It can calm an upset stomach. It can turn boring chicken soup into a delicious hearty chicken and dumplings. Bread can even turn an entire thanksgiving dinner into the most delicious late night snack sandwich. If you can’t tell, I love bread and I do not eat gluten free.
When I read about manna in Exodus, I can only imagine what it tasted like. Exodus 16:31 describes the taste to be like “wafers made with honey.” God rained it down from heaven; of course it’s going to be light and sweet! But reading the entire passage in Exodus can become rather mundane and repetitive as God instructs His people on how they are to eat while in the wilderness. What can God possibly teach me in this passage?
As I recently read Exodus 16, I was struck by one simple thing. God was not just telling them how to live daily in preparing their meals; He was telling them that they had to live one day at a time. If they gathered too much manna (in other words: trying to control the outcome of tomorrow’s provision or be greedy in wanting more), the manna would have gone bad by the next day. And when I say “bad,” I mean bad as in it reeked and was filled with maggots. Gross, I know. So the people gathered only enough for themselves for the day, and the next day they went out and did it again. Only enough for one day. So when God instructed them to gather twice as much on the sixth day, they had to trust that it would be good by morning. And come Sabbath morning, as they rose to start a new day, their manna was as fresh as it was the day before. They didn’t have to gather and cook; they could enjoy the rest that God was giving them.
God provided for His people daily. One day at a time. For 40 years! How incredible is that? But there is so much more to this. God didn’t do this because He was tired of listening to their complaining about food. He didn’t do this just to fulfill their basic needs. He gave them manna to teach them to trust in Him. He also wanted His people to know Him more, to know His character, to know that He was their Provider.
I am so thankful that God has taught me this same lesson in life. It took me many years within my own wilderness to finally stop trying and to finally start living. I had been a slave to my own way of thinking. If I tried harder, if I gave more, if I only could _(fill in the blank)__; then life would be full, good, happy, peaceful. But I was still living in the wilderness. My best efforts got me there. Once I decided to surrender and give control over to my Savior Jesus, I also decided that I would trust Him with the details, even the simplest detail in what will I eat today. God is my provider. I trust in Him. I live one day at a time with His wisdom, His guidance, His peace, His joy, His breathe in my lungs. What will come tomorrow? That I do not know, but I trust that it will be in His hands. Jesus is my manna; He is my portion. And He is sweeter than any bread I have ever known.
John 6:33; 35 “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” … Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”