We’ll just take a little extra….just in case. Never mind the fact that He provides exactly what we need, right?!
This has been weighing heavily on my mind all week. I’m using a bible reading plan that gets me through the whole bible in a year (let’s be honest–it’ll be more like a year and half or even two for me, but I digress). Anyway, I’m currently reading through Exodus. The Israelites are feeling as if they’re going to starve in the wildernes and wonder whether being hungry in the wilderness is a better choice than being a slave in Egypt. God says to them that He hears their grumbling and will provide meat in the evening and bread (manna) in the morning. He was pretty specific in instruction for gathering the manna, too. He said to gather a portion for each family member ONLY for the day, except on Friday. On Friday, gather two portions as Saturday was the sabbath, and the Israelites weren’t permitted to work on that day. Anyone trying to save some for the next day’s meal would would wake up to find it foul smelling and filled with worms. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?! And despite what they were directed to do by God Himself, a few still chose to try and save some extra or go out on the morning of the sabbath to gather manna only to find some wormy leftovers or the desert ground dry and empty.
I’ve read and heard this story a million times since I grew up in Sunday School and church services. But I think it’s the first time I really stopped to overlay it’s meaning to my life. It amazes me how many times the Israelites tried to do it their own way, not relying on God’s direct provision and protection over their deliverance from Egypt. Like, seriously, you dummies…did you forget the parting of the Red Sea or the flies, boils, and locusts you were spared from?! And after railing on how ridiculous the Israelites were, I thought about this: How often do I do the same thing?
I’m guilty of taking situations or problems or complaints to Jesus, asking Him to provide in some way or even assuming that He’s going to deliver exactly what I ask for. And when He answers, or more accurately when I feel He hasn’t answered the way I would like for Him to, I start to handle the issue myself.
I can’t possibly be alone in how I manage this! We often try to bypass His plan or provision in some way to get extra, to fix it, or to help ourselves because we know exactly how we want it handled. And a dear friend reminded me this week that this isn’t just a new Christian or a seasoned Christian problem. This is a human problem. It’s difficult for a new Christian to let go of the idea that we’re not really in control of our lives. For the Christian that has been walking with Christ for a while, we forget that we can take and trust everything to Jesus, not just the heart-hurting issues. How much better off would we be if we trusted in His mercy and believed that He has our best interest in His hands and will take care of it as He sees fit?
Jesus reminds us of exactly that in Matthew 6. He tell us in verses 31-33, Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or what ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
This, then, is our charge–to rise up against the worldly view that we must take care of ourselves without the trust of having an amazing God in our corner. His provision for us is unending. His love for us is good and beautiful. Lay down your burdens at the cross of Jesus and let Him supply your needs and desires as He will. Let’s trust HIM for the extra instead!
How about you? Do you struggle with this like I do? Comment below with a verse that helps remind you that God’s provision is best!