When God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and they got on the other side of the parted Red Sea. They pretty quickly looked around and said, “now what are we gonna eat?” Their salvation from slavery felt as short lived as their appetite. So God provided Manna (along with some quail protein), their literal daily bread. It was given with one instruction – gather only enough for today. There would be no stockpiling or hoarding. In His infinite wisdom, God says to take enough for today.
Manna was new. It wasn’t traditional Jewish bread they were accustomed to eating. It wasn’t part of Egyptian diet they experienced. It was God providing something that was entirely new. Interestingly, the Hebrew for ‘manna’ literally translates into a question, “what is it?” In essence, God provides them – and us – with a daily question to digest as we learn to orient our lives around him. The Israelites didn’t always have an appetite for God. Despite living with constant provision, the Israelites lived with a constant complaint.
As we encounter undeserved gifts, oversized obstacles, instances of pure joy, and daily challenges – God promises a daily provision and invites us to ask the question, What is it? Eventually, Jesus answers the question when he identifies himself as the manna, saying he’s “the Bread of Life”. If you missed Sunday, here’s a few highlights we saw from the healing of 10 lepers (Lk.17) yet only one of which returned to offer thanks.
Gratitude reminds us that God is the Source…that even my effort is a gift!
Gratitude is a choice unrelated to circumstances. Gratitude doesn’t alleviate pain. Rather, it fills the cup that is our life so – in the midst of the pain – we’re able to be people of hope.
Gratitude is a choice, like a muscle that needs exercise. So how about experimenting with empathy?
Over the next few weeks, try to capture moments on your camera phone when you end up either on the giving or receiving end of one of the Rhythms. Do this by taking a picture of a persons shoes/feet SO THAT…we might learn these seven Rhythms and “walk a mile in their shoes”. Post it Mission Hills Facebook album with the hashtag #WalkAMileInTheirShoes & citing which Rhythm.