“The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” Exodus 16:11-12
Why, in moments of panic and insecurity, do we begin to hoard? It’s been multiple weeks of quarantining and social distancing, and the shelves of the grocery store are regularly empty because people are taking so much at one time.
In the anxiety we find all around us, it’s so easy to feel panic deep in our spirits that there is not enough. But this morning as I read about God’s provision to the Israelites, I was reminded of how different God’s way is from the world’s. In the desert, the Israelites had no way to provide food for themselves, so every morning God sent manna (literally meaning “What is it?”) for them to eat. The Israelites were a lot like us, and when they saw their food, they began to frantically hoard, taking more than they needed and storing it in their homes. And what happened to that supply? It rotted. They woke the next morning to find their stored-up manna filled with maggots (yuck!). Why would god do that? Didn’t He know it was smart to keep more than they needed, just to be safe?
This is so hard for me because I fall into the same trap as the Israelites so often. It’s rarely ever enough to see the blessings I already have: I want just a little more money in the bank, a little more food in the pantry, a few more clothes in my closet, and all the while I am blind to the many gifts God has already given me. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, the Truth is that I really do have more than enough.
So what do we do when the fear creeps in and we begin to think that we don’t have what we need or that we need to fend for ourselves because God is holding out on us? We have to stop, breathe, and realign our hearts to the Truth: In Him we have more than enough (2 Corinthians 9:8), God will never leave us abandoned (Psalm 37:25), God knows what we need (Matthew 6:8), and he will provide a way out of any temptation or trial we face (1 Corinthians 10:13); He makes a way, always (Isaiah 43:19).
Once we have realigned with God’s truth, we can give thanks for what we do have. Even if it’s not as much or not exactly what we wanted, the truth is that it’s God’s gift to us, and therefore it is good. We have enough for today. And tomorrow? God’s already got it, and there will be enough then too.
One final thought: worship always turns my heart back to Jesus more quickly than anything else. If worrying about having “enough” is something you really struggle with, here are two songs that help realign my heart with the truth when I’m stuck in that spot: “I’ll Give Thanks” by Housefires and “Enough” by Sara Groves.