If you have been reading my posts from this week’s Slow Cooker Challenge you will know that I have not had time to go to the grocery store in a couple of weeks. Truthfully I have had time to go, I just haven’t had time to sort, clip and match my coupons. I refuse to pay full price for groceries now that I know how to coupon. Hopefully today or tomorrow I can get caught up on my coupons and make it to the grocery store.
Last night I was looking at my barren fridge and thinking I would for sure be hitting up the drive through for my next couple meals. A little later on I was getting something out of the trunk of my car and lo and behold a can of Beefaroni rolled out from under a bag. (Apparently it fell out of a bag of groceries and has been hiding in my trunk for a few weeks.)
I can’t tell you how excited I was to find that can of Beefaroni. I know it sounds stupid, but I seriously did not want to have to go to the drive through or grocery store today. That can of Beefaroni was like manna from heaven. Just enough to get me through another day’s meal until I could get things together to go to the grocery store.
I have been thinking a lot about manna from heaven and the Israelites journey to the promised land lately. This entire year I have felt like I have been in a valley or a desert just wondering around lost. I turned 30 in May and I guess hit an early mid-life crisis. I have never felt so lost and without a purpose as I did this summer. Everything I thought I was supposed to be doing and working towards and involved with all of sudden felt wrong. Not wrong in a moral sense, just like it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
This year has also been like a desert financially too. Month after month I have been in panic mode never knowing if I was going to make enough money to pay the bills and buy necessities much less have money for any extras. After being seriously in debt for so many years and finally starting to dig myself out last year, the fear of being back in that deep debt is just plain terrifying.
Being self-employed, you really never know what your monthly income is going to be. Some months it’s great, some months good and some months bad. I know to expect the highs and lows, but I sure wasn’t ready for an entire year of lows. I had 3 really great years and for things to drop down into a valley like this all of a sudden and stay there for this long, has been beyond difficult.
My faith and my patience have been tested continuously. I’m sad to say I fail that test more often than not. I know God will always provide and take care of me. I know I will have what I need. I just have had a hard time believing that without seeing the proof on the paper (or in my bank account in this case). I just want to get on with things and get to the place where I don’t have to worry about money.
I guess I can relate to the Israelites on this one. They knew that God had an amazing life ahead for them when they reached the Promised Land. He promised He would take care of all their needs day by day as they journeyed through the desert. He would feed them with manna every morning so they would never go hungry and give them shelter at night. They still continued to fear and doubt and complain though (and not just about the manna). They were so focused on getting to the Promised Land that they couldn’t appreciate the lessons and the blessings God was providing them with along the journey through the desert.
It can be difficult to trust God’s promises especially for big things like our financial needs when we can’t see the big picture. It can also be difficult to see and appreciate the daily manna we are given too.
I have been trying to focus on being more grateful for the little things (and not just because this month is Thanksgiving). I have purposefully been looking each day for my manna from heaven. Those little blessings and lessons that we often miss can be the sweet manna that gets us by just one more day. Bit by bit I continue to have opportunities that bring in extra income, new doors are opening up for some big opportunities and every month the bills get paid somehow, someway. There are other pieces of manna I am finding outside of the financial realm now that I am consciously looking for my manna each day.
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. – Deuteronomy 8:3
We don’t have to suffer during our time in the desert. We can choose to trust in God’s promises and be content with having just enough manna to make it through each day. It’s up to us to recognize this and learn to be satisfied with what we have and where we are right now. Take a look around today and every day for your manna from heaven so you don’t miss out on the lessons and blessings God has for you on your journey!