Friday, November 14, 2014

DEVOTION: Manna People ~ by Karen Rees

Imagine that your stomach is full, it's bedtime and you've just eaten the last of your food. Not a single crumb is left. There are no grocery stores around. You have no fruit trees, no garden vegetables, no fields of corn. There are only desolate wilderness and you. How well will you sleep?

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.

KAREN REES, with her second-generation missionary husband Benjamin, has served in Hong Kong since 1975. Besides her involvement in the mission work, Karen loves history, quilting and writing. They have two children, Matthew and Megan, and one grand-daughter, Hadessah.

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 and many other online bookstores.

Visit Karen on her author page on Facebook.
Watch her book trailer, The Ruby Ring Trailer.


  1. Karen, thanks for the reminder to trust God to meet all our needs. Our material comfort can definitely lull us into a false sense of security.

  2. Such a nice post, Karen. Thank you!