Monday, January 23, 2012

No more manna

You guys might think I'm weird for this.

Tonight at Oasis (CU's BCM worship service), the speaker told us to turn to Joshua 5:12.  He continued to speak about this verse (in a very different way than it hit me, but still awesome).

I, however, couldn't listen after I read the verse.  Joshua 5:10-12 talks about the people of Israel FINALLY getting out of the promised land and into Canaan after the walls fell.  Verses 11- 12 say,
"And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year."

Oh. My Goodness.  I cannot even explain it, but my heart broke when I read these verses.  On one hand, the people of Israel are finally in this promised land, full of God's goodness and grace and providence.  He has blessed them with food to eat daily.

On the other hand, though, the Isrealites lost their manna.  Like I said, some may think I am crazy.  But this just broke me down.  The Israelites are ending forty years living in the wilderness.  During this time, God has been so, so present and so, so evident.  He allowed them to cross over the Red Sea and again the Jordan River on dry ground.  When they could not find anything to eat, he RAINED DOWN food from the sky.  Let me say that again-HE RAINED DOWN FOOD.  Every morning, the Israelites would wake up to a miracle-their food supply.  Their very sustenance was a miracle every single morning straight from the Lord.  Great is His faithfulness!

It made me think of a horrible time in my life.  Everyone goes through them, goes through seasons where they cannot even get up without God's love and graciousness.  He is so gentle in these times, in these hard times where He shows us constantly about how much He loves us.  Every day in these times, no matter how hard, we wake up to a miracle.  We grow spiritually like never before.  He takes us and carries us.  He proves faithful day in and day out, even in the hardest times.

I personally think back to the summer after my senior year.  It was all I could do to get out of bed sometimes.  I was heartbroken and wounded in ways I had never been before.  I didn't trust anyone with my pain.  Except the Lord, who faithfully and tenderly spoke love over me.  This was Love, this was the Lord, in a way I had never known Him before.

The amazing thing about God is how He works in our times of wilderness, in our times of complete reliance on Him.  Oh, Lord, thank you for your faithfulness!

The thing is, the Lord always brings us through the wilderness season.  He brings us through to His glory and with His power.  And then the manna ends.  The every day miracle ends.  Not that He isn't there, not that He isn't just as faithful.  But His presence is so close, so tender in those wilderness times where we come to the end of ourselves.  In the promised land, we lose sight of the everyday miracle we had been waking up to.  We forget about our manna.

Oh, my heart aches when I think about it.  It truly does.  I feel like Moses in Exodus 33, when the Lord says He will give the Israelites land but will not go there with him.  Moses says that God could give them everything, but without His presence, "everything" would never ever be worth it.

Lord, let me never forget about Your manna in my life.  Let me never forget Your faithfulness and loving tenderness and mercy and grace.  Give me wilderness if it means I will not forget.  Let me glorify You in every season, wilderness or promised land.  I love you, because You love me so compassionately.  Amen.

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