Saturday, January 15, 2011

Manna from Heaven

"mann hu" is what the Hebrews called the manna from Heaven. It means "what is it?"

Exodus 16:31 says, "Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey."
 
Manna is what was provided from the Lord for the wandering people's sustenance. Their daily bread. What they needed to be sustained and grow. Each morning going out to glean their fill for that day. Except for Fridays, when they would r...eceive a double portion...they lived one day at a time on what they were given.

Midrash (Jewish commentaries on the Scriptures) says that the way the manna tasted depended on the heart attitude of the person eating it. To those people who had an attitude of gratitude and were thankful for its daily provision for them, it tasted sweet. Delicious. Dessert for dinner!

But for the people who were the mutterers and grumblers, it was supposed to have tasted like stale saltine crackers (really much worse than that, but that's what I compare it to when I read the description). Dry. Bland. Sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Isn't it funny that that's how we can see our lives that we are given and choose each day. Approaching them with an attitude of gratitude is like the spoonful of sugar that helps the "medicine" go down. Medicine is often times bitter and unpleasant to take. But ultimately for our health, healing and restoration. Situations God allows in our lives as we choose them is our medicine. Meant for our good and to heal us and restore us to Him even as we are changed into His likeness.

And then there's seeing life as one disappointment after another. All the while muttering and grumbling about our circumstances. How unfair life has been and is. How undeserving we are of where we are and wishing things were so much better. Easier. Not so hard and painful. I think life for these people must be an awful lot like eating a stale soup cracker.

Jesus tells us in John 6:51, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." Looking at the word bread, you can find that the Greek form is autrov. This is from the primary root aiuto which has as its definition to take upon one's self and carry what has been raised up, to bear.

Are we taking Him at His word today? Is He the living bread? The One we allow to take upon Himself our cares, our burdens, our bitterness over the circumstances and choices of our lives and carry them away? Does the manna of our lives taste sweet like honey? Does it leave the taste of wholeness, peace and forgiveness in our mouths?
Or are we bearing our own burdens? Muttering and grumbling over what we have or don't have, and always envious of what we think we should have had in our past and now in our present lives? Does life taste like a stale saltine?

"According to your faith, be it done unto you." Mt 9:29

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