He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. – Deuteronomy 8:16
Even though my journey hasn’t always been sunshine and sunflowers, the hand of God can not be denied if you knew all of the little stories that make up the big picture of my life.
If you really knew me, you would know that I have experienced bitter heartbreak and shattered dreams. You would also know that my journey never ends there.
The wilderness has taught me to sing through the tears and praise through the pain.
Ann Voskamp says it beautifully, “Lord God, Maker of all, when you give manna moments, may I give you thanks for the mystery. Because the manna that makes no sense- You will make it my sustenance. In all of the “What is it?” moments, turn me to give thanks for who you are.”
Manna literally translates into ” What is it?”
I think about manna often, the “What is it?” of life. The daily miracle that abounded in the midst of the wilderness. This daily miracle provided nourishment in the place of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Yet in Dueteronomy 8:16, it says, (manna) was given to humble and test them. I’ve found that this humility brings me to my knees, crying out to God. This is the time when I’ve felt closest to Him, when I had nothing else, no one else, but God alone.
It’s in the testing that He’s looking at the heart.
Will you curse Him in the wilderness or will you lift your weary hands in thanksgiving each day because He is faithful?
I’m thankful that I’m not the author of my own story.
I’m thankful that the places where I’ve tried to throw ink on the page, but couldn’t see where it should go, He took my mess and turned it into something much better. When the story started to turn out a way I didn’t want it to go, He saw the lines I couldn’t yet read. He provided the manna to sustain my soul when I was hopelessly wandering in the emptiness of the great unknown. I’m thankful that through the deepest heart breaks and disappointments, He gently led me, held me and sustained me.
He knew the road wouldn’t be easy, but it would be necessary. That it would feel lonely, but that He was all that I needed.
When there was nothing left to cling to, I could see what truly mattered. It was the only thing left standing when all else crumbled around me.
It was You, it is You. it will always be You. The great sustainer, the only one who will never disappoint, who heals shattered lives and makes them stronger. You are the Great I Am, You are peace when fear is knocking. You are the voice saying “don’t give up” when all else is demanding it. You walk me through the wilderness of life, no matter how many times it seems I end up there. Every time it doesn’t exactly get easier, but I do know that the manna will come everyday. I’ve learned that you know the ending, so I take the hand you offer me. I take it and trust that even when the valley is dark, the light always shines in the morning. In the darkness, there’s no need to fear, for You are with me and You go before me. (Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 139:5)