The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land… the crops of the land of Canaan. Joshua 4:19-5:1,10-15 Having been brought out of the wilderness, the spiritual food of manna was no longer provided. Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum writes: The Jews in the desert were provided with spiritual food, manna from heaven. For forty years, every morning was spent foraging for this special foodstuff. Now, if G‑d wanted to miraculously ensure His nation’s survival in a desert, He needn’t have invented manna and have it miraculously appear daily. He could have played around with nature in another way, by reducing our dependency on food. No appetite, no hunger, no problem. Often, it doesn’t occur to us that as we hold to our faith in this journey, God is feeding us in more ways than we realize. If we are able to perceive God’s provision for every day with gratitude, every act of love along our journey helps to move us closer to the place physically and spiritually where God has always intended us to be, in the presence of God. Where ever you are today, take heart. Life is a gift.
…work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. John 6:27-40 There’s a scene from the Soul Musical “The Wiz” in which the Wizard of Oz constantly changes his mind about the color of the day. Instantly as he changes his mind from green, to red, and then gold, the outfits on the citizens of Oz would change. After feeding five thousand people, the crowd that follows Jesus to Capernaum, wants more food but perceiving their heart, he urges them to understand that “food” is not the priority today nor will it be necessary for “the end of days.” It’s Jesus’ way of saying don’t just fall for the “fashion” of the week or even the season. These things go as quickly as they come; sometimes overnight (like the Wizard in Oz)! Through Christ, God has given us that which is eternal, a spiritual home overflowing with enough love (spiritual food) to continually fill an eternal number of people.
Lent: Day 15 – In our country, households needing food can go to government and local food programs. However, lands in other countries, where food has become unavailable, depend on outside programs to reach out to them. Over time and with persistence many of these programs have been very successful. There are times in our own spiritual life when we are simply hungry, when we go for a quick bite of the Holy Spirit with a song or scripture reading and it sustains our strength in this journey and gets us through every day trials and circumstances. Then there are other times when we find ourselves, in fact starving, when the usual nibbles and the regular meals are available but the usual resources we reach out to don’t seem to strengthen us and the resources that usually reach back to us don’t seem to have much affect. God in fact seems rather silent. The first time this happened in my own life I began to understand what it must be like consciously, at least to some effect, what starving children in severe poverty might experience. I am hungry. Why am I not being fed? Why is it that the food I have doesn’t nourish my need? Why is there no food? If we fill our selves with so much of the world around us, we may find our bodies full and yet still be hungry and to some extent spiritually starving. Over time and with persistence we must continue to discipline ourselves to eat of the spiritual food. It is inevitable that in our busy lives today the spiritual famines will come and we’ll unknowingly enter into physical storms. The good news is that we can have peace in knowing that starvation does not have to be our fate. We learn to sacrifice the tangible for the intangible and continue to reach out to God and allow God to reach out to us one morsel at a time and in time our strength is restored. Thanks be to God!
Genesis 43:1-15 Famine
Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, ‘Go again, buy us a little more food.’
Mark 4:35-41 Storms
A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 Sacrifice
Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.