Bread from Heaven

God does not waste anything. He uses every opportunity to teach and develop within us a greater trust upon Him. That's because trust is a basic element of every relationship. Take a moment and examine your own relationships.

You will probably notice a correlation between the level of trust and the degree of intimacy that you share. And if you examined some of your past failed relationships, whether they were with co-workers, friends, family and especially the romantic ones, you can likely point to the break down in trust as one, if not the main reason, for the breakup.

God is always looking for His people to trust Him, knowing that greater trust will always strengthen the relationship and intimacy with Him.

When the children of Israel were crossing the wilderness on route to Canaan, the promised land, after they left Egypt, food should have been scarce for the millions of former slaves. There were no local grocery stores or farmers markets around to run to and store up food for the week. Yet for nearly 40 years in the wilderness, Israel never missed a meal.

How did this happen? God sent manna from heaven, enough for each day. The manna, literally translated "what is it?," was like a seed that tasted of wafers and honey, sometimes referred to as bread. It would appear on the ground each day just outside of the camp and they were instructed to gather what they needed, about 2 litres worth per adult, each day.

The Israelites soon discovered, that whether you gathered up a little grain, or a lot, you always had the exact amount that you required for the day, but only for that day. If you tried to store some up for the next day, the manna would not keep and would become rotten - except for on the Sabbath when they gathered twice the amount the day before since there would be no manna appearing on the day of rest.

What was the main lesson for the children of Israel? God was teaching them that He would provide for them each and every day.

The fact that the manna would go rotten after one day was significant. I imagine that if this was not the case then the Israelites would have probably tried to store up some manna. Gather it up, erect storehouses to keep the grain, maybe even try and sell some to those who failed to gather enough before the Sabbath.

They would have effectively reduced their trust and relationship with God to a regular event, maybe weekly, where you go, collect your fill for a period of time and then go about your life with little or no thought about God until the next time you needed some manna.

But with the manna going bad on a daily basis, God was teaching His people of the importance of them coming to Him continually. That He would provide exactly what they needed, no more, no less, for each and every day. That the trust He desired was a continual trust, a continual walk with Him, not just a routine encounter where they got filled up before returning to their life on their own.

The lesson is the same for you and I. Father desires that we trust Him on a continual basis. Trust that He will provide the grace, power, wisdom, love, stamina and strength for each day, no more, no less. He desire much more than just a weekly encounter with Him on Sunday morning, where we might fill up on some 'spiritual food' before returning to our everyday lives afterwards. He desires so much more for us.

Jesus is the Bread of Life

For the 'manna' we receive is no less than the life of Jesus Himself (see John 6:31-35.) Whenever we accept His invitation, to come to Him, we will not hunger and thirst, but experience His abundant life. A life that is able to provide victory through, if not over, every event this world throws at us.

This was the essence of what Jesus was sharing in Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus was inviting them to trust their loving Father to provide the strength, love, peace and any other quality of life we need for what He has called us to today. That doesn't mean you never plan for the future, sometime planning for tomorrow is a part of today. But what it does mean is living with Jesus in this moment, trusting His grace to be sufficient for the task He has called you to right now.

You may be thinking, "But I have tried that and it wasn't enough." Chances are you were like the Israelites, trying to gather grace and power due to the worry about the coming trials and concerns that tomorrow or a future day may hold. You were searching for and wanting a grace and power that did not need for that day. Often we do this for fear that Father may not provide the grace we require for that future day.

So let us, each day, and many times throughout the day, turn our thoughts towards our daily bread, our older brother Jesus. Let us trust in His power and grace to deal with today's problems, knowing that He will provide for tomorrow's when, and if, they come.

In Christ who is our Life,

Ross

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