Most of the time we live in a place where we seem to get most of what we need to survive – without much trouble or help. But each of us will face days when our existence feels threatened. When you’re being squeezed by circumstances, something will come oozing out, and what comes out will clearly show how much or little you trust God to meet your need. The Israelites were in such a crunch time. They were on a spiritual and physical adventure far from their familiar, if oppressive, Egypt. What they would eat, where they would get their water, and which enemies they would face were all unknown. They were being squeezed, and what came out was not pretty:
In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2-3
Again, most of the time we don’t live in this kind of adventure. But maybe we should! We’re more comfortable in the routine and ordinary, but adventures of faith are where God shows up and miracles happen. They’re also the time when you may not be able to see two steps ahead, or know where the resources will come from, and feel like you are totally out of your comfort zone. This is also when we see new and amazing things happen.
The Israelites woke up in the morning and saw the ground covered with edible white flakes. They called it “manna” which means “what is it?” Someone said it tasted like Krispy Kreme ™ doughnuts.
God used it to teach some important lessons to his people, and later to the whole world:
- You can trust me. I will supply your needs.
- I will give you what you need daily, not in huge amounts, so you can’t store it away and forget about me.
- The Sabbath, again. Enough with trying to take care of yourself every day. One day a week you must stop your striving and let me take care of things.
- You can’t live on miracles forever. A day is coming when the adventure will end and you will return to a more ordinary way of life.
Fifteen hundred years later the people of Israel asked Jesus if he was going to give them manna from heaven. They were looking for food and for proof that Jesus was one sent from God. Jesus answered:
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” John 6:35-36
That brings us to where you and I live. This is our adventure. We are traveling to our own eternal Promised Land. Will we trust Jesus to supply our needs, or will we doubt and grumble like the Israelites? As for me, pass those “heavenly” Krispy Kremes™.
This song by Sara Groves sums up all those reasons why we are so slow to leave our own “Egypt.”