Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Pointless Quest for Predictability and Control

posted by Michael

Less than two months before, they were serving as slave laborers in the scorching Egyptian sun to make bricks for the Pharaoh’s building projects. Now for the first time in hundreds of years the people of Israel were free. Life in Egypt had been miserable because slavery was miserable. Men and women worked all day to build structures they would never use or enjoy. Every day, every month, every year passed in the exact same way. Saddest of all, they woke each day knowing that their children would spend their lives enduring the same pointless existence. It was at that moment, just when all hope seemed forever lost that the unthinkable happened. The vulnerable and defenseless men, women, and children of Israel were allowed to walk away from Egypt. The most powerful army on the planet was crushed. Their God had given them a military victory that they could never have won for themselves.  And now, God was taking them to a home of their own. He would guide them to the place that He had picked for them,  and He would even feed them along the way. The instructions from God to the people were simple.  “I am going to send quail each night for your families to eat. Each morning you wake up there will be feathery bread spread on the ground like dew. Take all that your family can eat during that day, but don’t worry about extra because it will only rot. I’ll provide the same again for you tomorrow. On the sixth day of the week, take enough for two days, because I want you to take the seventh day off to relax and spend time with Me.” When night came the quail came just like God had said. The next morning, God came through again and left bread all around the camp.

Inexplicably, several of the people gathered more than they needed, and some even tried to venture out on the seventh day of the week to gather in bread, even though they already had enough. I suppose it’s not totally inexplicable, I feel I do the same thing all the time, and maybe you do as well. I work when I should rest, I try to be self-sufficient when I should simply trust. God was doing more than just feeding the people as they made their way to their new home, He was seeking to be a part of their daily lives.  That’s what they needed most of all. That’s what you and I need too. When I allow God to provide for me, I am aware of Him all through the day. When I have needs or am uncertain, I look to Him for hope. When I have peace and happiness, I thank Him. The desire to take my life into my own hands to control things and make life more predictable is always in the back of my mind, but God's hands are much more capable than mine.

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