I recall the picture with fondness as it reminds me of God’s faithfulness, not only to meet my daily physical needs, but also to meet my daily spiritual needs
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.” (Exodus 16:4)
Above the dining table in my childhood home hung a print titled “Grace.” The picture shows an elderly man bowing his head over a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup. It’s from a photograph taken by Eric Enstrom of Bovey, Minnesota, during World War I for a photography convention. His goal was to communicate that even though people had to go without many things because of the war, they still had many reasons to give thanks.
My favorite part of the photo story is Enstrom’s description of Charles Wilden, the peddler who became the subject of the photograph. “To bow his head in prayer seemed to be characteristic of the elderly visitor, for he struck the pose easily and naturally.”1 I recall the picture with fondness as it reminds me of God’s faithfulness, not only to meet my daily physical needs, but also to meet my daily spiritual needs.
The Lord taught the Israelites on their journey. At this point in the expedition, they were getting hungry. In yet another miracle, God provided for them in an unprecedented way by presenting them with bread from heaven. They dubbed the strange substance “manna,” which loosely translated is “whatchamacallit.”2 Each day they would rise and the manna would be waiting for them. They were to gather enough for that day and there was always enough for everyone. It was a daily reminder that God’s presence was with them, as he provided sustaining mercy for them.3
It was a daily reminder that God’s presence was with them…
Sister, God’s sustaining mercy is there for you each day as well. The manna gathered by the Israelites is a spiritual metaphor for how God will feed you with his Word.4 You need to gather your own “whatchamacallit” every day. You may not know how to expect God to work, but you can expect him to be faithful to meet the needs of the day. In the context of deployment, take a deployment one day at a time, and trust the Lord to provide grace for that day. I do not know about you, but I cannot make it by only going to church or chapel or a Bible study during the week. I need fresh nourishment each day.
“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11/Luke 11:3) is a prayer for God to provide spiritual nourishment for the unfolding day. How are you allowing him to do that for you? Can you remember a day when God provided just the right “whatchamacallit” for that day?
Prayer for the Journey
Father, I pray you will nourish me with words of faith today. Give me what I need physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to make it through this day. Thank you for your provision. Amen.
1 “The Story of ‘Grace.’” http://www.gracebyenstrom/history.htms (accessed November 20, 2014).
2 Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011), 255.
3 James K. Bruckner, Exodus: Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), 3.
4 Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1974), 292.