Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Unexpectedly Grateful Heart - Part 15: Manna Soup

Our pastor was preaching from Exodus 16 this morning, which is the passage where God provides manna for all the people who had left Egypt with Moses. They were generally grumpy about food, and apparently very particular. The manna came down from heaven and they stood  around frowning, saying, "What's this?" That's how it came to be called manna, which means, "what is it?"  One of the reasons they didn't know what it was is that they were expecting bread, but this looked like coriander seed. Pretty different things, I'd say.

I was fixing a quick broth-based soup for lunch today and adding a pinch of this and a dab of that, as I often do. As I poured a round, knobby spice in my hand, I paused to read the label. I had picked up the coriander seed by mistake, but I tossed it in anyway in honor of manna. In fact, I laughed and named it Manna Soup. Yum! I've been pondering manna ever since 

Perhaps those Hebrew people were used to recognizable answers to their prayers and always getting what they expected. Maybe that's why the manna didn't look like God's provision of bread to them. I don't know about you, but it's not uncommon for me to ask God for something, expecting a particular provision, but receive an answer that is so different from what I expected that I almost overlook it. I've learned that, if the answer to my prayers seems slow in coming, maybe I need to look a little closer for an unexpected answer. I call that a manna answer. 

Maybe you have been praying for something but don't recognize the answer. Perhaps it's because your expectations have gotten in your way. Maybe you should look around again. Perhaps the manna is already on the ground. You just need to gather it. Start looking!

Today, I'm grateful that sometimes God sends exactly what I expect and sometimes He sends what I don't expect. The thing we have to remember about manna is that's it's "bread rained done from heaven". Heavenly bread. Now that is something for which we can be grateful!
Happy Thanksgiving!