I have a confession to make. These days, when I grow fatigued or when there are many challenges, I start to daydream about retiring. I imagine what life would be like if I did not have to answer the phone, meet a deadline, prepare for another sermon. The sad fact is that I don’t really want that. When I take each day’s opportunities as they come, God provides all that I need and I find real fulfillment in what I do.
Nothing ruins today more than discontent! If I, for whatever reason, try to anticipate some future need or blessing, the best of this day will elude me. Do you ever completely miss the joy of the moment because you are worrying about the future or fretting about some past experience? God says that He provides what we need, when we need it, in the manner that is for our best. Do we believe that?
It’s called ‘contentment.‘ Paul instructs us that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” In The Message we read: “A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8) On this Monday morning, let me encourage you to seek that kind of richness in your life, being God-aware, accepting His grace and letting go of trying to be someone else, wishing to be somewhere else, doing something else. Live in the present, open and honest.
There is a lesson in His provision from the experience of ancient Israel. God sent Moses to lead His people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. They were not prepared in any way for the journey or to re-occupy Canaan. So, the Lord provided a visible reminder of His Presence and showed them in a tangible way that He was their complete resource.
For their daily food He gave them “manna” – which was literally bread from His hand. They awakened each morning to white flakes on the ground, which they prepared as their food. The was one command about manna. It was not to be hoarded or turned into a commodity. God said, “Gather only what you need for this day!”
“The People of Israel went to work and started gathering, some more, some less, but when they measured out what they had gathered, those who gathered more had no extra and those who gathered less weren’t short—each person had gathered as much as was needed. Moses said to them, “Don’t leave any of it until morning.” But they didn’t listen to Moses. A few of the men kept back some of it until morning. It got wormy and smelled bad. And Moses lost his temper with them. They gathered it every morning, each person according to need. Then the sun heated up and it melted.” (Exodus 16:17-21, The Message)
God provides. Are we content with His provision, living with what He gives to us this day?
Not only did a few fail to understand what it meant to gather enough, the whole nation grew discontent with this food from Heaven. They grumbled that manna was boring, that they wanted more and different food. “… the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt, and the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember all the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic that we wanted. But now our appetites are gone, and day after day we have nothing to eat but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6, NLT) It was never enough!
God provides. Will we let Him satisfy us or will we look around, comparing ourselves to others, and growing miserable in the process?
Pray for contentment in the things of God today. Ask the Spirit to grant you the ability to accept what He has provided, to form your heart around joy in His ‘manna’ for this moment.
Here is a word from the Word that is a great promise for a Monday morning as we begin a new work week. Meditate on it. Let it become ‘living truth’ not just a nice inspirational thought today. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NIV)
Abba, whisper into my heart of your grace for this day.
Keep me from trying to spend tomorrow’s blessings or
redo what I perceive to yesterday’s failures.
Lead me to be fully present in Your plans and purposes today.
Thank you for forgiveness for past sins,
for blessings of yesterday that which become the foundation of today’s faith.
I want to be useful today, ready to be who You desire,
willing to enter fully into this moment with all the gifts of Your Spirit that are promised to me.
Thank you for Who You are, my Provider.