The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness ... (Deuteronomy 8:2).

How easy it is to worry about the day. As a suddenly single mother of three, many a day I wondered: "Where will the next rent check come from? How can I possibly make it alone?" I relate well to these Israeli people wandering in the wilderness. I can almost hear them: "Of course, I believe you are God and you are watching over us. I remember you parting the sea really well! That was awesome. But white flakes for breakfast? White flakes for dinner and white flakes for supper ... really?"

It's easy to grumble about manna: "Is this all the money I have to live on?" "Why can't I go on Caribbean trips like so many of my married friends these days?" "Hmmphf. No new SUV for me. Five dollars in the tank is my 'luxury vehicle' this year — make that every year ...."

It takes discipline of the heart and of the mouth to not grumble about manna in our daily life. "Thank you, God, for money that just barely pays the heat bill. Thank you, God, for another night of Hamburger Helper and not Olive Garden — really."

God's manna in your life — what is it? What help came to you just when you needed it? What basic need of love, food or shelter was met when it didn't even seem possible?

Remember the manna, remember the long way the Lord God has led you. It's the remembering that distinguishes us — trusting child of God vs. grumbling Israelite. Which will it be today? 


Keith Gatling

Keith Gatling

Posted at 12:37 pm (U.S. Eastern) 10/4/2011

Oh, how well I can relate to this. After I lost my teaching job, we took a look at the family finances and to our shock realized that my wife made, by herself, what many families live comfortably on...and we weren't living high on the hog to begin with. But that didn't change the fact that we had a daughter who just started college.

Somehow things started to work out in dribs and drabs. A miscalculation by me that resulted in one more paycheck from my old job. Another miscalculation on how much my new job would pay me. A miscalculation of how much my daughter's financial aid would pay for. And a lot of other little surprises in my favor.

All along I thought about "manna," but didn't want to say it out loud to anyone, lest by saying it, I jinx it, and end up totally in the toilet.

But yes, I like the idea of manna. And I hope it keeps coming. Of course, if a little quail comes along, I'll gladly share it with others.

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