The Israelites were grumpy and complaining and shaking their measly fists at God asking why, why had He brought them to the wilderness to die of hunger? And the Lord saw their need and supplied for them and said they would see the glory of the Lord in the morning. And He rained down bread from heaven and the glory was to be seen when the bread was rained down.
And so when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it (Numbers 11:9).
The Israelites woke up the first morning and stretched with the sun and saw the dew laying around the camp. And when the dew went up, they saw it. The manna. And they didn’t know what it was. It was like coriander seed and the taste of it was like wafers made of honey (Exodus 16:31) and the appearance was like bdellium (Numbers 11:7) but they couldn’t specifically identify it. So they called it What Is It. Manna.
And the Lord tells them each one to gather as much as he can eat. And so they go around the camp after the dew is gone and gather up the What Is It before the sun could melt it. And there was no lack for any one of them. And each morning for 40 years (Exodus 16:35) they woke out of their tents and stretched with the sun and waited for the dew to go up. And they gathered their What Is It, enough for that day.
God rained it down What Is It while they were asleep — tucked nicely into their tents sleeping and resting and gaining strength for their bodies. And while they slept, God set to the business of sending down What Is It. And when they woke up and they walked out of their tents and set out to gather their What Is It and bring it back to their camps. And they then ground it in handbills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil (Numbers 11:8).
This imagery is glued to me. Every single night, God showers down His manna to me. I might not know what it is. It might be like something I know and taste like something I’m familiar with and appear like something I’m comfortable with, but I might not be able to identify it clearly. But it’s there. And it’s His glory. And like the Israelites, it’s my job to wake up and get out of my tent and before the sun gets too hot, go gather it and grind it or beat it and boil it and make something of it.
Did your breath catch in your throat like it did mine?
Each night while we sleep and gain strength for the next day, God has rained down and provided to us exactly what we need for that day. But it’s up to us to go and gather it and make something edible and tasty and satisfying out of it. Every. single. morning. Long term. For forty years, or even more.
It’s incredible. Sleep, wake, gather, make. Sleep, wake, gather, make. It’s a beautiful partnership, our relationship with God. I’m so thankful for His provision and His trust in me that I can make something with what He’s given me today.
What are you thankful for this week?