When it comes to meal planning skills, I’m definitely limited; I don’t think I’ve ever planned out more than two consecutive dinners. Feeding a family of five means constant grocery store trips. Daily shopping is normal; not finding what’s on my list isn’t.
With the onset of the Covid-19 panic, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaner wipes, bread, eggs, beans, rice, pasta, ground beef and chicken (just to name a few) are suddenly MIA. Empty store shelves and wiped out frozen food sections have became overnight norms — a glaring reminder of the power that the Talons of Fear can have on our lives. Fueled by a Lord of the Flies mentality, many items are gobbled up as soon as they arrive by truck.
Amid the picked-over aisles, I pondered this question — if we don’t have a food shortage, then what’s the problem?
There, in the market, the Lord reminded me of Exodus 16 — the story of the Israelites in the Wilderness. Hungry, afraid, frustrated, and in deep need, they cried out for help. In response, God provided Manna, a daily portion of bread that fell from heaven. Every day it rained down. Every day they had enough. Nothing more. Nothing less.
This pandemic is our Wilderness — it’s where we’re all stuck. Like the wind which changes direction, we cannot predict where new infections will emerge, how long the Coronavirus will continue spreading, or when shuttering of households or social distancing restrictions will be lifted. Despite these Unknown Factors, we don’t have to live in Fear; we can choose to live in Faith by placing our trust in the One who is Faithful — who owns the cattle on a thousand hills — who shelters us under His wings — who provides what we need, when we need it.
In John 6:35, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” It’s no coincidence that God gave the Israelites Manna — their Daily Bread — in order to sustain them. While we certainly need food, water, clothing and shelter, we also desperately need Jesus. Without Him, we succumb to Fear; with Him, we walk in Faith.
Each time I go to the store, I keep the word Manna in mind. It’s my reminder to buy what my family needs — nothing more — nothing less, so those who shop after me can buy their daily share as well.