Manna

“Nothing gold can stay.”  I remember reading that Robert Frost poem when I was a kid, unaware then of the nature of time and of change and that it’s true—nothing gold can stay. I can’t officially say where just yet, but I’ll be leaving soon, moving overseas. There’s something about expiration dates that makes me get all sentimental. The irritations get less irritating and I feel myself scrambling to memorize every temporary thing I took for granted just last week, before I knew I was leaving. Mental snapshots, souvenirs for later.

It has been an interesting six months since graduation. This period of transition has taught me a lot about faith and God’s provision through the seasons of my life.

When Moses and the Israelites were wandering through the desert in search of the Promised Land, God sent them manna from heaven every day for food. Everyone gathered it each morning according to their need, and only just enough for the day. It rotted overnight. It took faith to believe that the manna would be on the ground again the next day. It took faith to trust in the Lord’s daily provision.

God has given me manna too, blessed provision. A fun, restful job. Dear friends. Just enough money to live on. Hope found in plans.

But here’s the thing with manna: it’s so easy to put your hope in the manna rather than the provider of the manna. Despite God’s instructions, some Israelites tried to hoard it. And so it rotted.

God is teaching me not to cling to the manna in my life. Some relationships are meant to last just for a season. Some jobs or circumstances are right for a time, but then it’s time to move on. Everything in this life is temporary to one degree or another.  Don’t cling to any of it.

The only permanent fixture is the Provider of all things.

It’s amazing how this setup makes it all more beautiful. That manna tasted even better because it wasn’t promised for forever. Relationships and goals and circumstances are all the more wonderful because they can’t last. And the Lord is all the more beautiful because all other ground is sinking sand. His permanence is such a staunch contrast against this constantly changing backdrop he’s placed around us. And we were made to hate change and seek permanence. Funny how things work out that way.

Today’s manna will be rotten tomorrow, but there will be new manna. Just be present. With a grateful heart, learn to receive and learn to let go. Letting go is painful, but it’s a good and necessary pain. Letting go takes faith and courage, but–wouldn’t ya know–the Provider gives that too.

“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:48-51

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