There has been a reoccurring theme in my world lately. It seems like many of the people in my life, girls, guys, married, single, college students, and fully employed, are experiencing defeat. Somehow, someway the enemy has weaseled into the lives of the faithful and planted seeds of doubt, depression, anxiety, and fear. Even in my own life it has been a roller coaster of a season where there are moments when I just feel completely defeated.
This past week was one of those weeks for me. A week where God didn’t seem as near as he once did. A week where irrational fears and unlikely circumstances stole all the peace I had left. A week where no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get out of the stinkin’ rut.
You know when there is something in your life that seems to spur anxiety, or frustration? For some it may be a person or a regretful memory that you can’t seem to shake. For others it is the reminder of a fear you thought you had overcome. The triggers may be small, but they are the things that the enemy uses to get his foot in the door. I feel like the enemy was working doubly hard and seemed to get his foot into almost every door I had.
I wrote about it. I talked about it. I cried about it.
And when none of those things seemed to work I bought a chocolate chip cookie, a new pair of shoes and told myself to get over it.
But now I am entering into week two where it feels like not much has changed or has been lifted. I still feel like I’m wandering aimlessly in the desert and just need to know someone has the map.
Something similar happened to the Israelites when they were wandering in the desert. They too were in need of a reminder of God’s faithfulness. So God did a few things. He sent quail, and provided them with water, and He sent manna. God told them He would provide for them daily. He would send enough food so that everyone would have what they needed each day.
“However some of them paid no attention…they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.” (Exodus 16:20)
So stinkin’ gross.
But there are 4 themes we can learn from this story (as told by Eric Seibert):
- Trusting God is not gained in one big dose (manna means trusting everyday)
- Trusting God is cultivated by experiencing God's faithfulness daily
- Trusting God and self-sufficiency are mutually exclusive
- Trusting in God is encouraged by remembering past lessons of deliverance
God’s provision couldn’t be hoarded so that some days people had to trust Him a lot and some days they were able to get by on their own. And I'm sure that after a while they got sick of manna and would have rather learned about trust using a different food, but they were being taught a daily dependency.
If you want to learn to trust God, you can't stock-pile manna.
I’m slowly and painfully learning that daily dependency is not a sign of weakness, but rather a continuous reminder of God’s faithfulness and a test of how trusting we are of God. There may be seasons where you have to ask God everyday to remind you of who He is and to remind you that you are not crazy and that you are still loved. Sometimes the manna (though we may get tired of it) is teaching us something greater and more valuable than we even realize.