Not by Bread Alone: A 31-Day series

Day eight: Bread from Heaven

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven on you.’” Exodus 16:4

When I was five years old we moved away from the only home I’d ever known so that my dad could go to seminary.

Seminary wasn’t cheap and we downsized in a lot of ways that were foreign to me at the time. All I understood was that my sister and I had to split the two cheeseburger meal at McDonald’s instead of getting individual happy meals, and that we had to put both couches in the living room because our new house didn’t have a basement.

Based on what my mom tells me, the transition was a hard time for me.

At one point, I got so desperate to go back to what was familiar, that I packed my little pink suitcase with my Bible and my favorite Cabbage Patch doll, and set off to walk to back to Jeff City and live with the man who’d bought our old house.

I made it to the end of the driveway before my mom caught up with me, and I got a spanking for lying about what I’d been doing in my room. (“Nothing, Mom!”)

But I only know that from stories. The things I remember from the 11 months we spent in that cramped rental house are happy memories.

Working my first Light Bright picture with my mom on Christmas morning in the playroom.

Having a Little Mermaid birthday party and getting an Ariel umbrella from my little sister.

Spending mornings with my grandma before I went to Kindergarten each afternoon, and posing on the front porch for pictures in the dresses she made us girls for Easter.

I knew what it was to go without, but I didn’t know what it was to go hungry. Not once in those lean days did my parents lack food to put on our table.

We came very close once, though.

Mom, Katie, and I had gone back to Jeff City for the weekend for a surprise birthday party of one of my parents’ friends. When we got ready to leave, someone pulled Mom aside and pointed out a couple of cardboard boxes in the corner she had assumed were gifts.

They were full of food for us take back to Springfield with us.

Right at the moment of our deepest need, when our kitchen cabinets were most empty, God saw fit to provide for us. And as I got older, and began to understand money, and that we didn’t have very much, whenever I started to worry, my Mom would point back to that miracle.

“God will always take care of us,” she promised. And he always has.

The children of Israel were in an even more desperate situation than we were; it wasn’t just a matter of being poor. The Israelites were camping in the desert and there was, quite literally, no food.

But God provided for them.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven on you….’ That evening, quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was.” Exodus 16: 4, 13-15

Can you even imagine? If you’ve heard this story a hundred times, it’s easy to forget how AMAZING this is. There wasn’t any food. So God rained food down on them. It sounds like something out of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

And it didn’t happen just once. It happened every day for more than forty years. How can we look at a miracle like that and ever doubt that God will provide for us? Yet we do. We look at the pantry and the checkbook, and we fret that when push comes to shove, we won’t have enough.

We worry because we have forgotten about the manna.

“And when the measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gather little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.” Exodus 16:18

Can I tell you something? With God, there is always just enough.

There may not be enough for tomorrow, but there is always for today.

“So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32

“This, then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.’” Matthew 6:9-11

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This post is part of a 31-day series. A list of all the other posts in this series can be found here.

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3 thoughts on “Day eight: Bread from Heaven

  1. This one is my favorite so far. It is amazing as a mom looking back on your 5-year-old perspective. That time in our life was so hard because of what we had to do without, but very rich in the lessons it taught all of us. Remember that when you face difficult situations with your own children – your perspective is not the same as theirs and they will remember things differently-usually the happy side of it. And one thing I do know: God DOES always provide-no matter the circumstance.

    “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)

  2. Just like the Israelites forgot to find it awesome that *food rained down from heaven*, I forget sometimes how much of a miracle it is that there is always food in the pantry. Beans and rice? Spaghetti? Again!? ….those things could NOT be there. They are there because God provides for us, by way of husband being employed, and that is huge.

    Thanks for this 🙂

    – Strings

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