(April 3, 2020)

Exodus 16:15When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord have given you to eat’.”

Read: Exodus 16

After the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt and through the Sea, they wandered in the barren wilderness. They had nothing to eat. The people grumbled against the Lord, so God gave them meat and bread.

The meat is easy enough to understand: God sent quail.

The bread, however, is another matter. One day the bread began appearing on the ground. It looked like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. The Israelites knew it was from the Lord, but they were baffled. They looked at each other, asking, “What is it?” They had no idea. So they called the bread, “what is it?” This is a good name for something that you have no idea what it is. If you were to say, “what is it?” in Hebrew, it sounds like “manna.”

Now if you are curious to know what “manna” is, there are really just two answers. The first is this: we have no idea. Some have attempted to find a natural explanation or phenomena, but it cannot be done.

The second answer is this: It was from the Lord. It was what they really needed. They would have been dead without it. It cultivated a relationship with Yahweh. It was measured out by the day, which means it formed one of those powerful routines that we considered yesterday. Or, to sum it up in one word, it was “grace.” Grace is what defines our needs, our relationships, our rhythms, our life. Grace means living day by day. It is living in the habit of coming to God every single day because our souls depend upon it.

We often resist doing this. We dodge it; we say we are too busy for God; we are quick to grumble. We want to be in control and “get things done.” But grace calls for surrender. …Every …Single …Day.

Today, we know we are living on manna. That’s why it is hard. And that is why there is such potential for change and growth. If you find yourself grumbling or resisting something today, might it be that we are resisting God’s grace at  work in our life, giving us what we need?

Today, may our eyes be open to see that grace for “what it really is.”

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Father, thank You for the grace that You give us every day. For we know that your grace sustains us until we reach the Place of Promise.

Today’s Communal Prayer Topic: Let us pray that there would be no grumbling among us, and that hearts would be open to the grace-filled path before us.

Original artwork by Anne Evans Scott attached.