“The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seeds. It tasted like wafers that were made with honey.” Exodus 16:31
I have loved to write as long as I can remember. My childhood friend Lori and I spent our play dates writing chapters in books we never completed. Lori was far better at grammar and spelling than I was, actually she still is. I hope you will lend me some grace when it comes to those things. I tend to write with more freedom and quite honestly I could use a refresher course in grammar and punctuation.
I have kept a journal for many years because I process things better when I write them down. I have learned to ask questions, ask for confirmation or just set my thoughts and quandaries out on the page and then wait to see if future writings bring the answers or perspective I am looking for. I have found that without this written history I am far more apt to just stumble along –forgetting what I was questioning and therefore failing to find any answers.
I had this idea – a blog idea- that I still struggle to explain. The idea came to me when I was writing a series of lessons about the story of creation for our children’s ministry at my church. As I outlined the story and searched for life application for the children I realized something. Let me see if I can explain.
As I read, beginning at Genesis 1, I began to see something new in the story of creation that I had not taken notice of before. If God can create everything in 7 days he can certainly do it in one day or in a minute… so why 7 days? Why painstakingly tell the story bit by bit? Whether God actually did create the world in 7 days, or if it is just a story to show us how things evolved – the question still lingers. Why 7 days? I cannot begin to answer that question nor do I really want to. However, I would like to consider another possible application to the story and it starts with the story of Moses and the manna.
In Exodus the Israelites followed Moses into the desert on their way to the Promised Land. In no time they began to grumble and complain because there wasn’t anything to eat. Moses took their complaints to God and God appeased their appetites with something called Manna –translated to “What is it?”
The manna was to be collected daily, and they were instructed not to collect more than they could eat in one day. They were also not to store it overnight, except for the night before the Sabbath. They had to learn to trust God to provide food for them every day. When they failed to heed his instruction and tried to hoard the Manna, it became useless.
So what does manna have to do with the creation story? One common theme is that God provides. He provided the manna to sustain his people. We too can and must depend on God for everything we need to sustain us. There is no one else who holds our breath in his hands. He longs for us to draw near to him and depend on him for our needs.
The Israelites had to learn to depend on God. Every night they had to trust that with the morning sun there would be new manna and every day as they went out to the fields to gather the manna, they had to trust that there would be more manna tomorrow.
That is my story too. I am learning to trust God. I am learning that try as I may I cannot lengthen the days of my life or the days of my loved ones. But just as the Israelites had daily reminders of God’s faithfulness and tender care, I too have daily reminders of his kindness and provisions and I see them in the story of creation.
Come along with me as we go out into the fields of coriander to gather manna. As we do I believe we will find the gift of perspective from a God who separates light from darkness. (1st day of creation)
We will be reminded how our bodies were made for movement and physical tone as we step out and breath in the great expanse of the sky. (2nd day of creation)
God will refresh us with cool water as we learn to become springs of living water to the thirsty around us. (3rd day of creation)
We will be challenged to open our minds and imaginations as we experience the vastness of his creativity. (4th day of creation)
We will also see that he is a God of variety and the unexpected as he gently persuades us towards new experiences. (5th day of creation)
We will be asked to give of ourselves to one another – learning ways to be a blessing to our family and friends. (6 day of creation)
And lastly we will be convicted to regularly quiet our bodies, our ambition, and our desires and settle down close to our Father – listening to his heartbeat and resting in his sovereignty. (7th day of creation)
I hope you will come along. I believe we will encourage one another and be all the more enlightened if we travel this journey together. I don’t exactly know how this is going to look. I hope to keep it organic and loosely held. I believe that as the days unfold we will see God inspiring us to gather the perfect manna for the day. I believe that he will teach us to gather often and wisely. Only God knows what the journey holds, but we can trust him to lead us well because he is the only one who knows the way.
My only goal at this point is to keep my eyes and heart open to the field before us. What is it? What has God prepared for us today in the fields of coriander? Will we gather insight today or will we be drawing life-giving water from a fresh spring to share with another? Each day is new and the gift is a surprise. But we can be sure that the giver is good and can be trusted to offer his very best. May we offer our best as well and we journey into the fields of coriander.
I am eager to meet you and share the journey with you.
In His Wings,