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Hoarding Manna

March 18, 2012
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But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV

Hoarding manna is a foolish business.

When God’s people were leaving the slavery of Egypt to travel toward their promised home, God made incredible provision to feed them. (See Exodus 16:14-31 and Psalm 78:23-25) Even when they were complaining, rebelling, and whining, He created manna and spread it on the ground for them every morning. They were told to collect just enough to sustain them for each day. The manna was sufficient for the day, miraculously adequate. And more manna was promised for the next day.

If they tried to collect manna ahead of time and carry it over into the future, it would become full of maggots. What they hoarded would be corrupted and spoiled. The precious provision, once so treasured, would become completely undesirable. 

 

Hoarding manna is a foolish business – even now.

 

Our God, who loves us more than we can imagine, keeps His promise and sends us mercies new every morning. The mercies are crafted to fit the unique circumstances of each day, of each life chapter. They are sufficient and specific for the present.

Our fond memories of God’s provisions can get us into trouble, though. Our tendency can be to try to hoard yesterday’s food to assure ourselves that we will have enough for the next hungering need. We can try to carry past supply over into the future instead of trusting God to bring us new mercies, new manna for each new day.

Something is wacky when we look backward with anticipation and yearning and forward with fear and trepidation. We are wise when we look backward with thanksgiving and forward with trust – even when we don’t yet have tomorrow’s provisions in hand.

When it is time to move ahead, it is foolish to try to take this day’s manna with us. When the sun rises, the new day will be filled with new challenges and new needs and new reminders of our desperate dependency. But, God’s manna will be on the ground at the new morning’s camp site. We can be confident of tomorrow’s fresh manna because the Bread of Life is already there in that future place. And in that new day, in that new place, He will be enough. We don’t need yesterday’s manna. The new manna will be deliciously just what we need.

We should remember yesterday’s manna with thankfulness, but never hold on to it. We must beware of the corruption that comes from hoarding yesterday’s mercies. For, if we aren’t careful, God’s provisions can become more precious to us than God Himself. We can hold on to the things He gives us even more tightly than we hold on to Him. 

How sad when we put our trust in His gifts rather than in Him.

 

Hoarding manna is a foolish business.

             Idolatry is ugly, even when the idol is manna.

 

“Keep me, Lord, from making an idol out of the manna you give. May I love You more than I love your gifts.”

 

There follows a bit of a personal PS.

So, you can stop reading here if you have enough information. 

How am I learning this lesson?

Right now, I am in a place where the manna has been abundant and delicious. A place of sabbatical rest.

I love this mountain place. The quiet. The solitude. The disconnect from the tumult. Time with Him has been easy here. There have been few distractions. I have known safety and shelter here. I have known His nearness here, His care and comfort.

We came to this place in a desperate state. Depleted and emptied. Acutely aware of our frailties and wounds. Unable to fend for ourselves at any level. Without our own resources. Dependent on Him for restoration and replenishment.

And here in this place, He lavished His care on us. He immersed us in His kindness, compassion, and understanding. He made us sensitive to His presence. His gifts of restoration have been amazing beyond description.

I am not ready to leave this place or this manna.

I could easily cling to this place, this provision. I could easily try to hoard this manna and try to hide it away for every future day. I recognize that I could easily trust the gift of this place rather than the Giver of every perfect gift. And my loving Heavenly Father knows that; He knows my propensity to create idols from His gifts.  

I know that He is disconnecting me from this place before I begin to depend on it for strength more than I depend on Him. He is going to transplant us so that I remember “from whence cometh my help.”  He is moving us off the mountain to demonstrate that His care will continue. He is teaching me that His provision will be there in the new place in the new day because He will be there in the new place in the new day.

This is not the first time and place He has provided abundant care. This is not the first time and place He has lavished His restorative kindness on us. This is not the first time and place he has sent messengers of mercy (i.e. faithful friends) to help us.  He has been ever faithful. I am familiar with His past provisions. And I am prone to holding on to the familiar.

 

And so, He sends new mercies and continues to teach me not to hoard yesterday’s manna.

 

Psalm 78:23-25 – Yet He commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and He rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of the angels; He sent them food in abundance.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 8:25 am

    Becky, I just love your blog! There is Gods Presence, His Peace, His Word and your thoughts as I read. I can make myself at home here as if I was sitting with you pondering and having a cup of coffee (Hazelnut for you and expresso for me. 🙂
    Thank you for posting. I look forward to more…hopefully soon.

    Lisa

    • June 7, 2012 12:14 pm

      Thank you, Lisa, for helping me think through and talk through this process and clarify what is next. Time with you helped me know what I know and then follow hard after what I know. It’s a matter of “The TRUTH will set you free!” So thankful that the Lord has kept us connected! Thanks for stopping by!

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