“Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
Exodus 16:4-5 (NIV)
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Miriam was at her wits end. Her son had been sick that month and it was hard for her as a single parent to cover his medical bills as well as meet her monthly commitments. On top of all this she needed a new fridge. No-one knew she was storing her meat, fruit and milk in a cooler filled with ice, although she figured the service station attendant must be wondering about this woman who for the past month kept purchasing three bags of ice every evening on her way home from work.
Well no-one knew that is, except God. Every night Miriam faithfully thanked Him for her health, her children and husband, her job and her vehicle; so many people had so little and she was indeed grateful for her blessings but could He please send her a little help in getting a new fridge? Another month passed as Miriam continued to fill her cooler with ice. She knew God hadn’t forgotten her because He always came through just when she couldn’t hold on a moment longer, and so He must know about the battery she now needed to get for the car but couldn’t afford.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that God knows exactly what we will go through in life before we ourselves get to experience certain defining moments. He knows the colour of our eyes and hair, the shape of our nose and whether we will be tall or short from the moment we are conceived. As the Alpha and Omega He knows our parents, our spouses, our children, our employers and the name of our funeral home director long before we do. And even though we know that He knows, we still allow the devil to distract us with: “If God really loved you why did He allow your mum to become terminally ill and die after being in so much pain?” or “If God really loved you why would He let your car break down and make you catch the bus in the rain with your two young children?” or “If God really loved you how come you’ve been laid off and out of work for so so long? For sure He must know people who know people who know people!” We then grumble and complain – not to the devil, but to God.
The day after Miriam’s battery died she found a bright pink envelope in her mailbox. In it was a card from a friend … and a cheque. The note was short: “I know you’re struggling a bit right now but everything is for a time, and this little gift is to let you know how much you are loved and thought of, and to tell you it’s going to be ok.” Miriam’s friend didn’t know about the battery or the fridge (both of which she could now purchase) but God did. And just as He provided manna every day for the Israelites in the exact amount they needed, so will He provide just what we need at the right time we need it; all He asks is that we be faithful, for disobedience may result in a ‘smelly maggot-filled’ situation similar to what the Israelites faced when they tried to store the manna although told not to.
In today’s world of instant gratification God’s time may appear somewhat delayed. Let me assure you: He is not sleeping, watching The Young & The Restless or Scandal or West Indies cricket matches on TV; neither is He bothered with checking His Facebook or Instagram accounts! He knows the time we spend learning lessons during seasons of need make our seasons of victory even more meaningful, and show beyond all doubt as we look back that His time (as our all-knowing loving Father) is truly the best of any time there is.
So do you know the time? If you’re still not sure I encourage you to read Exodus 16 … and then await your ‘wafer made with honey’ moment – it will come 🙂