The Israelites found themselves in this situation. God had brought them out of Egypt, with its choice meats and tasty leeks and onions, to the barren wilderness and said, “Go to sleep. I'll provide food in the morning.”
The first night many probably slept restlessly, afraid that the promised manna wouldn't appear. But when the pearly dawn arrived, there it was. God had kept his promise.
He continued this for forty years. Six nights out of every seven the Israelites went to bed with full stomachs, empty food sacks and the promise of manna in the morning. God purposely did this to keep the Israelites acutely aware of their dependence on him and of his faithful provision. Today God wants us to learn the same lessons.
One way we learn is through lack of wealth. In the Lord's prayer, Jesus didn't tell us to ask for big bank accounts. He told us to ask for “daily bread”. When our funds are limited, we have to rely on God. And, as we rely on him, we receive additional blessings. Jesus knew that wealthy people too often focus on their riches and forgot God. (Luke 12:13-21) Have we ever asked God to give us a smaller house and less expensive car than our neighbors?
Another way we learn is through trials. For forty years God used hardship to mold a group of complaining Israelite slaves into a faithful, obedient nation ready to march triumphantly into the Promised Land. Those that didn't learn left their bones in the wilderness.
Whether we want them or not, life brings trials. Our only choice is in how we respond. Will we learn something of value? Or will our suffering be wasted and our bones be left in the wilderness? Job problems, financial need, illness or personal heartaches are all opportunities to learn to trust God. As he gives us strength and comfort, brings a last-minute solution or encourages us to struggle on, our faith will grow.
If we choose to follow him, he will be with us in our wilderness. Our stomachs will be full, our food will be gone and we'll have the promise of manna in the morning. We'll learn to sleep well.
Her historical fiction novel, The Ruby Ring, won a Finalist Award in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards in the Religious Fiction category. It can be purchased in paperback or eBook from Amazon.com and many other online bookstores.
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Watch her book trailer, The Ruby Ring Trailer.