“The LORD said to Moses, “………Each day the people can go out and gather only enough for that day……,.”
Exodus 16:4 CEVUK
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the word TRUST and what it truly means. I reread the book of Exodus and a verse particularly struck me. God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt. They had seen Him plague the Egyptian while He passed over them. They witnessed the parting of the Red Sea and they were on their way to the promised land. Then they ran out of food and cried out against God. His response in Exodus 16:4 is what caught my attention.
God promises to provide food for his people, and He adds a caveat “……gather only enough for that day….”. His reason? Perhaps he wanted to know if they would follow his instructions? If they would trust him enough to fight the not so quiet whispers of fear that screams out “hoard!!”. I imagine myself as one of the Israelites – fighting that urge to control the outcomes and instead trusting that as miraculously as He provided today, he would do the same tomorrow. Hmmmm even in my imaginary world, I struggle.
As a mom I feel like I understand what God was trying to do here. I identify with the feeling of hoping your child would trust you enough to do what you say without the follow up questions “… and then what?” “When?” “Why?” “For how long?”. And I am one to talk…. I sometimes skip entire seasons of my favourite shows so I can binge watch them all at once to avoid having to wait to find out what happens next. I want the option to control my choice to enjoy a weekly dose of a well written plot vs skipping to the end already. I can almost see the grin on my 9-year old’s face as he reads this.
It’s so easy for my mind to feel that the issues of my adult life as so vastly different from daily battles with a 9 year old. That a dining table battle of wits over ‘food before desert’ is vastly different from my daily struggle to find some quiet time in the midst of the unending busy that marks my days. And maybe I’m right. Maybe a slice of tuxedo cake is not adequate comparison to mortgages and widening credit spreads. Maybe in the scale of things, choosing between ice-cream and pie is incomparable to how I would assess my next career move, college application, or town to live in. Though different, in this one thing I find these choices to be the same – if we both focus on just what is in front of us, we find the clarity to hear God’s voice and the fear of what’s next becomes only a whisper.
Gather only enough for one day, He said.
I was never built to have it all figured out
To juggle the balls of the present, future and past
I was built to depend and each day to trust
That the God who provided, would again do what He does
In my hand are 5 loaves, that’s all it can take
Not the hungry five thousand, for that is His stake
And though they are hungry, waiting to be fed
My call is to simply break out the bread
Not worrying or fretting or anxious with fright
He’ll do what He promised, just not by my might
I’m not called to feed five thousand
I’m called to break bread
I’m not called to have it together
I’m called to daily depend
Oh for grace to trust you “only enough for this day”…. Amen!