Friday, January 30, 2015


I was reading to my girls from the Old Testament in our Story Bible last week.  The Israelites finally crossed over the Jordon and into the Promised Land.  Something struck me as I was reading this aloud...something I had never considered before.  (It's always this way with God's word...the revealing of truth after truth no matter how familiar a story becomes...) Here is where it took me this week...

Manna.  It means "what is it?"  They begged for food, for sustenance in this wilderness...and when the Lord provided it, instead of saying thanks...they said, "what is it?"  Thus manna it was called.

They complained about the was too dull.  It was so boring.  It was absolutely mundane and they hated it so much, they wanted to go back to Egypt where the food was plentiful.  Back to the land of slavery...where they could feed their flesh for an hour and be abused for generations.

It is not rare for me to tear up while reading to my kids...and, truth be told, I've been known to outright cry through an entire chapter.  So, it should come as no surprise that, when their feet touched Canaan, my voice caught.  The Promised Land.  The Land their fathers never got to see...the Land promised to them all those years they stand on the other side of a miracle, feet anchored to the promises of a Beautiful God.

Then...and I wasn't prepared for this...the manna stopped falling.  Just like that.  That which had sustained them all these years...the miraculous nourishment they complained so much just stopped.  Tears began to run down my face as the truth of what happened in that moment flooded my core.  To see the miracles of God cease to rain?  To walk out in the morning to a world void of that which has nourished this body and that of my family for decades?  It must have been a bittersweet moment for His children.

I think about my life.  The manna that sustains me.  The nourishment that falls out of nowhere.  The "what is it" that permeates this soul.

The mother's manna.

Dishes in the sink...laundry in the basket...stomachs to be fed...minds to be all rains hard over us as we are washed in the nourishment of this life of service.  The sometimes literal "what is it" (all over the carpet, all over this shirt, all over this table...)

This life...this life of washing feet, teaching souls and cleaning house...this is my Manna.  I believe it's what nourishes me in this time in my life.  And while I am tempted to complain and moan see the manna as drudgery...I know that somehow...someway...this is what is nourishing me right now.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Self-sacrifice is sole avenue by which we become like Christ.

And one day...not so far off...I'll stand on the other side of this.  My children grown, the house empty...I'll cross over my Jordon. And, just like that, it will stop falling.

I will stand...feet anchored to the promises of a Beautiful God...and lament the loss of my manna.  I imagine there will be more ways to serve...different than that which is given to me now, in this moment of mothering.  I will still be a mother.  Someday a grandmother.  I will still work diligently serving my King until He returns...but the manna.  The "what is it" that shook my core, tested my patience, and nourished my soul.  This miraculous, wondrous, discouraging will be no more.

I strive now, to relish in my manna while it rains.  I strive to see every piece of heavenly bread for what it is and smile when I see another way, another reason, another avenue by which I can serve my King.  For what other reason does the manna rain other than to be redeemed? To be turned into nourishment for the whole family?

This is why it rains...this is why the manna floods our lives and our souls...and this is why it must be embraced.  Without the collection of the manna, it cannot be eaten. Without the mother embracing her "what is it" every single day, there can be no provision for her family.

Let it rain.  And let us relish in this opportunity to receive something bland, give thanks and turn it into something beautiful.

*This post was edited from the archives.


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