Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

From Miracles to Manna

These last few years have been an amazing journey with God! I have seen his hand move, enjoyed unbelievable intimacy with my Savior. I have heard amazing promises, seen my faith grow in ways I never dreamed possible. What a joy to know his voice, to hear his sweet whispers each and every day!

I have seen glimpses of the future he has planned for me, heard promises of how he will use me. I have seen him open doors in ways only he could, reminding me that he has my future all planned out. I have reached a place of believing that I don’t have to worry about how it will happen; I only have to believe that he will make it happen in his time and in his way.

But, about six months ago, it was as if God went silent. No more shows of his mighty power. No big promises to which I can cling. No insightful words upon which to meditate. My spiritual life seemed dry and weary, as if wandering in a desert.

In the last few weeks, however, I have found myself thinking about these dry days. Interestingly, I have begun to see a shift in my perspective, a shift that I am certain could only come from God.

Prior to this dry season, I was writing prolifically. I had file after file, just waiting to be published. The inspiration came at me non-stop, always something to write about. The words just flowed out, never a moment of writer’s block.

But now, it is a struggle to find inspiration, to find the words to convey what I am thinking. I ran out of written articles months ago, and I am now forced to write just in time. I am constantly thinking about what to write for the week, searching for the time to sit down and put words on paper. I often wonder if I will be able to continue with my writing.

And yet, I have begun to see how God continues to work. Every week, without fail, a topic comes to my mind. I begin to meditate on it, think about how my life has been impacted. Every week, I find a little time to sit down and put some words on paper. They may not flow quickly. It may take more work than it used to. But, he always gives me something to say.

God continues to be faithful. He gives me the words, exactly when I need them. He formulates thoughts in my mind, just in time to put together an article.

It’s as if he is providing me the daily manna that I need to continue this journey he has begun.

From miracles to manna. From big, exciting moments to daily faithfulness. From huge steps of growth to blind steps of faith. From big glimpses of the future to daily direction from the pillar of fire.

As I began to see this shift in my thinking, I reflected on the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt. Wasn’t their experience similar to what I am seeing?

In the early days, God assured the Israelites that he had come to rescue them, to set them free from their bondage. He swept in with mighty miracles: the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the drowning of the Egyptians. He built their faith, giving them experiences to which they could cling, memories of his power to sustain them for the 40 years they would wander in the wilderness.

Then, when their faith was strong, when he had shown his mighty power and his glory, his methods became much more subtle. He didn’t show them the full plan. He revealed it day by day, step by step. He led them by a pillar of fire at night, a cloud by day. He taught them to rely on him moment by moment to provide for their daily needs. He gave them only what they needed for the moment, never more, never less.

Sure, there were still moments of power and might: enough quail to feed the Israelites for a month, water from the rock. But, for the most part, the Israelites were forced to hold onto the mighty displays of the past as reminders that he would be faithful to meet their needs each and every day.

Do you remember how the Israelites responded?

The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
 Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.
Psalm 106:24-25 NLT

They whined about their leaders. They became convinced that their lives were over. They were convinced that God brought them out of Egypt so they could all die.

Isn’t that how we act so often?  We look for the mighty acts of God, but we miss the daily provisions. We want to experience power and might, and yet we overlook the daily guidance. We think God has gone silent when in reality he is taking us to deeper levels of dependence on him.

I know that I have mistaken this period in so many ways. I have wondered what sin I had in my life, where I had taken a wrong turn. I have been so frustrated with God for going silent.

And yet, as I begin to see things from God’s perspective, I am realizing how my faith continues to grow. I am finding that I am learning to follow his lead day by day without any hint of what the future holds. I am learning to trust that he will provide for my daily needs in ways I can’t even comprehend, that I never have to worry about where my provision and inspiration will come from.

I am learning that we are simply transitioning from miracles to manna.

Thank you, Father, for my daily provisions. Thank you for taking me to deeper levels of dependence on you. Help me to see my life from your perspective, to recognize the daily manna that you so faithfully provide. Help me enjoy your mighty power, but to live in your daily presence.