That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat. These are the Lord’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person in your tent.” Exodus 16:13-116 (NLT)
Sarah lay next to her little sister Izzy, rubbing her back and humming softly. They had just returned from a doctor’s visit where Izzy had been diagnosed with strep. The little girl was not feeling well at all and Sarah’s heart went out to her.
Izzy was just starting preschool and was not happy that she was going to miss some days. She also wasn’t happy about the sore throat and cough that were preventing her from sleeping. The doctor had prescribed a dose of antibiotics and Izzy had just taken her first drink of the pink, bubble-gum flavored medicine. She couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel better already.
She turned to face her big sister and asked, “Why am I not feeling better?’
Sarah explained that the medicine took a few days to work and that, before she knew it, she was going to be feeling a lot better.
“Why can’t I take more of the medicine every day so I can get better faster?” Izzy asked. Sarah explained how the medicine worked daily and that it needed time to help her feel better. “Today’s medicine for today’s pain,” she said.
Izzy was still having trouble sleeping so Sarah told her one of her favorite Bible stories, about how God fed the Israelites in the desert with manna – just enough for each day.
So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed. Exodus 16:17-18 (NLT)
By the time Sarah had finished reading from Izzy’s children’s Bible, the little girl had fallen asleep. Sarah kissed the soft curls on her head and left her sister’s room.
As she snuck under her own covers that night, she thought about the story of the manna and how God provided for the Israelites daily for many years, giving them just enough manna for that day. And she thought about the prayers she sent up daily for her dad. That the Lord would keep him safe, open his eyes and his heart, bless him, and lead him on a path back to Him and back to his family.
There were some days that were more difficult than others. But looking back, Sarah could see that those were the days that Jesus stepped in with an even larger serving of grace. He had given her just enough grace and just enough mercies each day so that she could extend that grace and mercy to her dad. So she continued to pray for him.
Her dad wasn’t home yet, but she knew that there were changes being made in his heart. His words were kinder, his actions more loving, his feelings more sincere. Sarah saw it with her eyes, heard it with her ears, and felt it in her heart. Yes, the Lord was providing just what was needed each day – for all her family. And she knew that someday, her dad would be restored to the Lord and to his family.
While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan. Joshua 5:10-12 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska