3:45 p.m. - 2006-02-22
My quiet time (in lay language – my time to read my bible and devotions) was pertinent to my thoughts. The bible passage was Exodus 16:1-18, which talks about the time early in the travels after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. (For a frame of reference for those not familiar with Bible stories – these verses too place shortly after the time in the movie “The Ten Commandments” that Charlton Heston [playing Moses] parted the Red Sea and all the Egyptian Soldiers died, and Charlie and his gaggle of people made it to the other side to safety.)
The Israelites were complaining and grumbling (aren’t we humans just so good at doing that?). They were only a month out from the Egyptian oppression and slavery, and they were discontent and questioning their decisions to follow this man Moses, and their God. Basically – they doubted God’s plan and promised provisions for them. Through Moses God had already given them instructions on how to survive their desert experience.
Here’s another bible lesson and only slightly off topic from what I wanted to write about.
The people were grumbling about food, so God told Moses “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
What God “rained” down on them was something that was called manna. Which even to this day no one truly understands or knows exactly what manna was. What was very cool about this though was that no matter how much was gather by a person – all portions were equal amongst the people. A portion has been described to be equivalent to 2 litres or 2 quarts of this bread like stuff manna – for each person in the family. If a person gathered too much manna, or another person gathered too little, by the time they got back to their camp – all portions were equal not matter who they were. And another thing was that they had to gather each day, with the exception of the established Sabbath day (what would be equal to our Sunday’s today). So on “Saturday’s” they were allowed to gather twice as much to make it through the Sabbath day where they weren’t to do any work – even something as basic as cooking.
Ok, now back to my story … the reason why this lesson came as such a strong reminder for myself was that God provides exactly what I need. I don’t need to worry about my job, my circumstances, and my place anywhere. He has it all taken care of. This is not to say that I can sit back and my hubby will come and feed me grapes while I lounge away the hours on the couch. No – I still have to put one foot in front of the other and obey Him (that’s God, and sometimes my husband), but mostly to trust God in all His ways. I need to decide to resist the temptation to complain. I need to consciously surrender my complaints to God. I don’t mean – to complaining TOO Him, but to open my hand and let go of the frustrations and complaints I have. Let Him do what He does best – take care of my life.
The Israelites took 40 years to make their way out of the desert, and for that matter – that first generation (of grumblers from Egypt) that had God’s word (mentioned in italics above) never made it to the ‘promised land’. (Neither did Moses but that’s another Bible story for another day). Which makes me wonder, if they hadn’t complained or grumbled would they have truly tasted the freedom or the ‘Promised Land’ they sought sooner?