July 16, 2009
A Wilderness Experience
Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
Give us today our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11, NIV
Back in the early ‘90s, the contemporary Christian music husband-wife duo Out of the Grey released their debut, self-titled album. In the middle of the track listing is a song called “He Is Not Silent.” The lyrics read:
The people said this desert never ends
We have no bread our throats are dry
Our heads are heavy and our feet need rest
Has He left us here to die?
And we’ve forgotten All His words
As if we never heard
We take our hearts and turn away
One might gather that the inspiration was the Israelites, who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt. They were bound for The Promised Land, and along the way they were to learn about God’s provision, about laws and worship.
Today, oftentimes life can feel like a wilderness experience as we make our way to “The Promised Land,” a term some Christians use in reference to heaven. Like the Israelites in this scenario, we are a chosen people, redeemed from death by our Savior Jesus Christ. We, too, are on our way to The Promised Land.
But, also like the Israelites, we grumble and complain. We get tired of manna and want some meat instead. We question, and we turn our hearts away. We are not listening, and we resist the leading of our heavenly Father.
I don’t know about you, but I have done my share of turning my nose up at the manna that the Lord has provided me this year. I want what I want, and I want it now! I think that I know what type of manna is best for me and when and where it should be given.
And that’s when I get into trouble: I think that I can create my own manna that is much better than that of the Lord. But I quickly discover that if it is not from Him, then it is not good.
The Israelites had the same light bulb moment when they tried to store extra manna overnight. They had been instructed to only gather enough manna each morning for that day. The only exception was the sixth day when they were to gather two days’ worth, so that they wouldn’t have to gather on the Sabbath. The Lord was testing them to see if they would obey Him and trust in Him to provide.
Well, of course, there were some Israelites who paid no attention to this word (imagine that). And they kept part of the manna they had gathered until the morning of the next day. Needless to say, there was no grand-slam breakfast special for them—only maggot-infested, smelly manna for those who had little faith.
We can take a lesson from the Israelites and learn to trust the Lord for His providence. He IS the Bread of Life and will provide exactly what we need as we make our way through the wilderness of our lives.
Intersecting Faith & Life: What manna in your life have you not received with true thankfulness this past year? What manna are you tired of and what is the meat that you are now demanding from the Lord? Is it possible that the manna He has given you is exactly what you should be feeding on?