We are a society that likes to stockpile supplies. Why else do many of us have five loaves of bread in the freezer or enough peanut butter in the pantry for the next six months? And look under the sink in the bathroom and you might find a year’s worth of shampoo and toilet paper. We buy many things in bulk; sometimes it is because we get a better price per unit for buying in bulk, other times it is simply because we want to have even for today and tomorrow, and the ninety days after that! Have you ever gone to the grocery store right after a hurricane or blizzard has been forecast? Some shoppers really seem to be “stocking up.” You think to yourself – are the effects of the storm really going to last that long?
On the contrary, God gives us what we need only when we need it. He does not give us today what we will need tomorrow, only what we need for today. Tomorrow’s provision will come tomorrow, when we need it. Even though we would like tomorrow’s provision today, we really don’t need it until tomorrow. And He wants us to trust that what He provides today is all we need for today. In Exodus 16, after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea and as they were on their journey to Sinai, they began to grumble at Moses and Aaron, frustrated that before Moses led them into the desert they “sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death (16:3).” They were accustomed to having all the food they wanted, which was really more than they probably needed, and now they are in the desert and food was becoming scarcer by the day. God responds this way (vv.4-5) – Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
God is testing the faith of the Israelites. The test is really very simple. The people are to gather food provided by God each morning, but only enough for that day. On the sixth day they are to gather enough food for two days. The lesson to be learned is that God is the supplier of our every need, and He provides what we need when we need it, not necessarily what we want when we want it. Jesus offers a similar petition in the Lord’s Prayer – “Give us today our daily bread.”
So we ask you – are you willing to trust God to meet all your needs, when you need them met, not when you want them met?
New Bern, North Carolina