THE STORY OF MANNA AND WHY EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY

MannaKristianIrey

Gather round, little hens, and let me tell you a Bible story. A very long time ago, some people who wanted to follow God followed Him right into a terrible wilderness. They didn’t have any reliable shelter or water or food, and they were NOT happy about it. They complained to their leader that it would have been better for them to have lived with full bellies in captivity than to die of starvation in freedom.

But God made a plan. He sent them a food source, these little bits of sweet bread that would appear in the mornings after the dew evaporated from the ground. The people named it “manna”, which roughly translates to whosey-whatsey.

“The People of Israel went to work and started gathering, some more, some less, but when they measured out what they had gathered, those who gathered more had no extra and those who gathered less weren’t short – each person had gathered as much as was needed.” {from Exodus 16, The Message}

Do you have a habit of comparing like I do? Comparing this person to that person. This skill to that skill. This situation to that situation. Often, when I see someone in a circumstance that is unfamiliar to me, particularly one that is especially difficult – the death of a child, the loss of a career, the unfaithfulness of a spouse – I think to myself, “I could never handle being in that situation. I don’t know what I would do with myself.”

I’m a foster momma right now, and people say this kind of thing to me a lot. “I could never do what you’re doing.” “I just wouldn’t be able to handle giving the kids back.” “I can’t imagine being thrown into parenting like that.” “I wouldn’t know how to deal with a kid who has so much baggage.”

Let me tell you a little secret… Me neither. I’m in the same boat. I can’t handle giving the kids back. I don’t know how to deal with a kid who has so much baggage. I can’t imagine being thrown into parenting. I could never do what I’m doing.

But manna. God provides. “Those who gathered more had no extra and those who gathered less weren’t short.” People who need a little bit for today get a little bit, and the people who need a lot get a lot. To paraphrase my friend Jodi, whether the “manna” we’re talking about is patience or grace or energy or peace or courage or the ability to get through your shift without bursting into tears, sometimes you need a Dixie cup full and sometimes an entire wheelbarrow. And whatever you need for that day, God will give it to you.

On February 29th, I had no ability to care for two babies under two years old. On March 1st, I got the phone call and I got the manna. These babies have gone back to their family now, which means that I need less manna today….I look back on those months and ask myself, “How did I ever survive that?” Now I have a little girl who is five and feisty, and I need a whole different sort of manna these days.  Foster care is impossible for me, and because of God and His manna, I’m doing it and most days as far as I can tell I’m doing it well.

So here’s the moral of the story. Jesus said it. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow today. Whatever is happening…whatever is going to happen…you will have what you need in the moments you need it. Believe me. I’m serious. You have what you need today. Trust in the provision. Trust in the manna. That thing you’ve been thinking about doing? Do it already. Everything is going to be okay.

 






Kristian Irey is the artist behind that beautiful photo up there and the keeper of an amazing Insta feed.

Jodi Hickerson was the first person I ever heard talk about manna in this way.  Her talk has stuck with me for so many years.

 

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