Manna… “it was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey”. Exodus 16:31.
I have a very curious imagination. Not always a good thing but I’m finding in the hands of God curiosity is becoming an interesting part of me. Let me get right to it.
I’m quite intrigued with the Israelites. I love their story and often wonder what it was like to live and experience all those adventures with the Lord. I often wonder what it was like to wake up that very first morning in the wilderness knowing they were free.; free after 430 years in Egypt – they could sleep-in, they could arise slowly, make their fires and wander the camp free of whippings and harsh labor. I can almost picture myself here. I’d grab my hot beverage and set out looking for my friends to share morning conversations and chew on all the glorious events that had just taken place, because let’s be honest, that’s what women do. We gather and chat and, although I am guessing here, I think the Israelite women were no different then us.
Then one day after much grumbling (mentioned 7 times in Exodus 16 in the course of 11 verses), manna appears on the ground. I think about the manna. I think about it for two reasons: 1) it’s a brilliant concept and I want to touch it. 2) Being the women, I’d have to prepare it: I must do something with the manna.
So there it is, the Goodness of the Lord covering the ground and they must collect it and prepare it because it is the Lord’s daily bread given on their behalf. The Bible says they could bake it or boil it. I’m not a natural-born cook, so I’d be sticking my head into other women’s tents and asking the question, “What-cha doing with your manna?” In other words, what-cha doing with what the Lord has given you?
Besides the wonderful speaker at the retreat this weekend, Lisa Whittle, I had numerous opportunities to stick my head into other women’s tents. Some tents were wide open and others slowly opened. They let me into their lives and spoke about their manna. Their manna is Jesus and they shared with me their journeys with Him. I did not go to the retreat as a counselor or any other title; I was just an attendee. These were simply conversations I had during meals, as I walked to and fro, and while I sat in the sanctuary. Some manna seemed quite unfair. Other manna was extremely painful. Some women were angry over their manna while others were quite content. One sweet women burst into tears feeling she was making a mess with her manna. I too found myself gut-wrenching sobbing over the manna of a young girl who so bravely shared her story.
That’s what this retreat became for me – manna sharing. I delighted in the white like coriander seeds that tasted like wafers made with honey. Manna is white and pure and sweet and can only come from God. Jesus came from God and he is our daily bread – Jesus is our manna. What I continue to love about the women in our church is they open their tents and talk about their manna. No one handles it perfectly and that’s okay. We are all still learning and growing. I know I sure am. I am thinking about my manna and I hope you will too. Let’s continue to ask one another and ourselves what-cha doing with the manna.