While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So, from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan. Jos 5:10-12 NLT
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the Lord, in a sense, was spoon-feeding you? You know, continually making himself so real that your faith was being built up most remarkably?
For me, one of those times was while living in Paris. It seemed that every day the Lord gave me some new understanding of his word, some new sense of his presence in my life. I felt his wind beneath my wings as I sat and wrote the book that I believe God had shown me to write. It was a marvelous time, not an easy one, in fact, a hard time but one where I knew God was so very present. Every morning I was waking up to manna, which I would collect and use for my nourishment. It was one of the most challenging times of my life, but the most rewarding, to be sure.
But then it came time to come home. What now, Lord? Where is the daily sense of your guiding me? What am I to do now?
I could use some manna!
Over time, the Lord made his presence known once again, but for a time, I was not experiencing that amazing feeling that comes from daily hearing from the Lord. In a way, God was saying; I have led you, NOW, it is time to move forward without always feeling that wind beneath your wings. For a time, I want you to put your faith to work and walk on the path I have set you on. Use your gifts, lean into the Spirit, immerse yourself in the word, practice faith!
Goodbye, milk- hello, meat!
I think this is what happened to Joshua and his group of Israelites. They were spoon-fed manna as long as they were in the wilderness. But, now on their way out of the wilderness, at this crucial time, the manna dried up. The food they were now going to eat was all around them, planted by others, theirs for the taking. In a way, they would have to pick the food they would eat- they would have to reach up and choose the banana or apple! That was the new part; now they would have to seek out the food, no longer would they be greeted every morning with manna.
Why did God this?
Now more than ever, the apple of God’s eye, his people, would need to live by faith. They had been fed manna every day of their lives by God, and now they were to gather their food.
Interestingly, just after God stopped the manna, we see Joshua meeting the Lord’s Army Commander. The manna left as the Lord’s Army showed up. Joshua and his people would now learn how to fight God’s way. God would not feed them daily manna, but they would not be left alone either.
Where are you today? Maybe you are experiencing a time of manna coming down daily? Perhaps every day feels full of God’s leading? What a blessing those times are for his children! Or, maybe, you are having to flex your faith muscles in a new way? Just remember no matter where you are today, God is with you and caring for you!