With tears in my eyes I write this one, because today was a rough day. I say that not to garner sympathy, but because I have committed to walk this path with transparency. And maybe someone is like me today and needs to hear this.
I woke up today with a heaviness. A fear. A dread. I kept praying and trying to shake it off. Still not sure why today was the first really tough day – but it was. And truthfully most of the difficulty today was financial. Today I moved money over from savings – our “emergency” cash reserves – with no real idea how I would pay it back. And that was pretty scary. And then this afternoon I heard that to have my test tomorrow, the test I need to verify that I need to have gallbladder surgery, I’ll need to pay out almost $1500 in the morning because I haven’t yet reached the deductible on my insurance. Brutal. So now I’ll need to move that over from savings as well. And after that, truthfully, there isn’t much left.
This morning a precious friend was talking to me and I was telling her about the freelance things that Justin and I are piecing together to pay our bills over the next couple of months until we see what the Lord is going to do. She said, “He gives us just enough manna for each day, doesn’t He?” I laughed and began to remember the story.
I immediately got off the phone and looked up Exodus 16 and read again about the Israelites and manna. You see, the Lord had rescued His people, the Israelites, from slavery. They had seen Him do great and mighty things. He parted a Sea and let them walk across on dry land, then he released the Sea on their enemies and they saw the bodies of their pursuers and their captives washed away. The Lord then led them through a desert. They were afraid because there was no food and no water, and they grumbled against the Lord. So the Lord struck them all dead.
No He really didn’t. Sometimes we see God that way though, don’t we? We are afraid if we grumble against Him that He will squish us like a bug. But that’s not how our God is. I love that the Bible includes these stories of humans being human so we can see His mercy.
Exodus 16 says that they grumbled against Him, and then He…
Manna. Just enough for each day. In fact, to test them in this and see if they trusted Him to provide each day, He would cause the manna to rot each night if they happened to store any up. He wanted them to look to Him, each day, for their daily bread. Literally.
When I was younger I would read this and think, “Silly Israelites, why would you NOT trust Him? You’ve seen what He’s done. He rescued you. He parted the Red Sea. He brings manna from heaven.” Now that I’m older and have kids and a mortgage, I unfortunately relate more with their grumbling. I bet it was terrifying. Deserts are vast and hot and creatures die in deserts. I’m sure the Israelites were like me – they would hold their kids close and feel the weight of the responsibility to care for that sweet child the Lord had given them, and with tears in their eyes they would just beg God to work.
I am really tired. And I am really scared. Where we are, today, feels like a desert. And although I do trust my God, there is this human part of me that feels alone in this. I look around and all I see is desert.
So today I lay my fears at the feet of the cross. I choose to trust Him with the manna He has provided for today. I try to take comfort from the fact that the Israelites did in fact cross through the desert safely. I look up to the God who saves and I ask Him to provide today for my family. And I’ll turn to Him again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Until He leads us through this particular desert.
Because our hope is in Him and He alone is our good.