For the first time ever, I write this weekly devotional as a thirty year old. Actually, I write this devotional as a thirty year, two day old. You see, that’s the thing about our age, we might say we are a certain age for a whole year, but that’s an oversimplification. I am always older than I was just a few seconds ago. Such truth is a constant reminder that we must live every day in the present. We cannot pause, fast forward, or rewind our lives no matter how hard we try. This is true, even when it comes to receiving God’s provision in our lives. We can only receive in our own hands that for which we have need, today. We must trust that tomorrow resides safely in God’s hands.
Back in Exodus 16, God made this point explicit for the Hebrew people. With the memory of the crossing of the Red Sea beginning to fade with each rumbling of their empty stomachs, God explained how he would provide for his people as they traveled through the desert. “I’ll provide manna, bread from heaven, for you each morning. Gather enough for that day.” At first, a few of the Israelites did not trust God’s plan and attempted to gather more than they needed for that day. What happened? They awoke to stinky, maggot filled manna, unfit for consumption. God was making a point – his people would need to learn to trust God provision on a daily basis.
Something amazing begins to happen when we learn to trust God to meet our needs for today, such faithfulness becomes enough for tomorrow. Today’s provision becomes a foretaste of tomorrow’s abundance. Manna, which in itself was nothing special, nevertheless tasted as honey holding forth the promise that one day God would, indeed, bring them into the land of milk and honey. For us, God’s daily provisions of food, of family, of love become in the words of C.S. Lewis, “drippings of grace.” That is, they become present glimpses into the abundance of God’s kingdom come: the great abundance of the Lord’s banqueting table, the sense of belonging that comes from being a part of God’s family, the eternal love we will experience in his presence.
While the manna itself could not be stored up, the memories of God’s provision could be stockpiled, tallied, and reported. Later, as the Israelites prepared to enter the promise land, God commanded that a jar of manna be placed in the sanctuary. Why? So that every time the Hebrews went to worship, they would have a visual expression of God’s faithfulness. The Israelites could face uncertain days ahead because they had seen God alive in their lives today, and yesterday, and the day before that. By the time they entered the promise land, they’d had forty years of waking up every morning to God’s provision. Now they could enter this new and daunting land trusting that though the manna had ceased God’s provision would not.
No matter your age today, thank God that he capable and willing to provide all you need for this present moment. Thank him that those provisions give you a glimpse of his coming kingdom. And take time to record those blessing as a testimony to the faithfulness of God, which will continue to be there for all our tomorrows.
“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving towards all he has made” Psalm 145:13.