It has been my experience that the season of Lent always reveals surprising results in the lives of those who faithfully consider and follow through with the practice. The benefit isn’t only to be found in the “giving up” of something we enjoy, or the additional devotion time we dedicate, but is embodied in the realizations that we come to when we yield to God and find we can trust in His Grace. The understanding of what we have missed out on when we haven’t yielded and trusted can be just as powerful.
This passage of Exodus begins with the word “Nevertheless”. What a heartbreaking word. Not in the sense that the people who went out found no food, but that they did not listen to God, or trust in Him. God heard the cries of His people and responded by providing for them, but He also made provision for them to observe His Sabbath. It was a supremely awesome gift drawn from the very heart and nature of God to bless and strengthen His people. Nevertheless, driven by their own desire, and fear of hunger or scarcity, they did not trust in Him and denied themselves the fullness of the Father’s generosity. A generosity that sustained and kept them until the fulfillment of His promise.
Imagine what our lives would be like if we trusted God for “our daily bread” without trying to take on to ourselves what He has promised to provide. God told them to keep an omer of manna as a reminder for generations to come of His faithfulness. This reminder stands for us to call to mind when we find ourselves in fear or doubt. We remember all the times God has been faithful and kept us. We remember to trust in Him, and find rest in His Grace.
In what ways might you be missing out on the richness of God’s grace because you are trying to do what He has already provided for?
Are you fully surrendering to God, or are you reserving for yourself things you think only you can handle?
Rev. Joshua Keith – Abundant Life Church of the Nazarene – Columbia, SC