Week 35 Monday

Heavenly Food

Today’s scripture selection: Numbers 9-12

Key verses: Numbers 11:6

The people in the desert were hungry.  So they asked God to provide.  And He did.  It was called “manna” and it was, literally, heaven-sent.

At first, everything was fine.  Then human nature kicked in.

“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites starting wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!  We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

Now, on the one hand I can identify with the people’s complaint.  I remember how growing up my Mom loved a little product called “Hamburger Helper”.  And, over the years, we ate a TON of it.  Even though I knew my Mom was just trying to provide for us – well, let’s just say that if I never eat another helping of “Hamburger Helper” it will be too soon.

On the other hand, there is something that fascinates me about the people’s complaint.  It’s that little bit about how they ate fish in Egypt “at no cost”.

  1. It seems they have forgotten one little detail about their history.  They had been slaves in Egypt.  Isn’t that a pretty high cost for a little piece of fish?

We can fall into the same trap.

We want something we don’t have.  We start to feel sorry for ourselves.  We might even re-write our own personal history a bit so that we can justify our complaint.

It’s far better if we come at things from another perspective.

Let’s remember how God has so lovingly and fully provided for our needs – physical, emotional, spiritual – time and time again.

Let’s remember that God knows what we need – while too often we only know what we want.

Let’s trust God – and thankfully accept what He sends our way.

It may just be manna from heaven.

 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your loving provision and care.  Help me to trust in it, always.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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