UPDATE: I’ve included a response from a friend to this post in the body of the post below under these neato little == markings, removing some personal identifying items.
I could feel the heavy burden on my back when I woke up. It was also on my chest. I could also feel it pushing on my temples (both sides). I was being slowly crushed under it – again. How did this happen? How did I end up back here again – back under the horrible weight of stress and worry?
Maybe I should have just gone the way of other men.
Maybe the wide road of comfort, ease and abundance is the better way.
Maybe pushing papers for the government or a big company isn’t so bad because there at least I’ll know that my mortgage and bills will be paid and by whom: me!
STOP THE PRESS!
CONDUCTOR, STOP THIS TRAIN! I NEED TO GO VISIT CAPTAIN JESUS!
And so I went into the Holy of Holies to pray (I call it that because I have curtains that go between my home office and the place where I find myself crying out to God on the floor).
I stopped talking and thinking and got down on my knees and started worshipping. Within less than three seconds (sometimes He’s fast) He said ‘Manna’.
What is it? (Exodus 16)
And what does it have to do with this burden of stress that is slowly sucking my will to live?
Although I don’t have the entire revelation, here is what was shown me in convenient bullet point form for millenial encouragement:
- no matter how many hours of the day I work I cannot provide more
- if I sweat all day long and all night long and gather storehouses full of it, it rots leaving me with exactly what I need when the delivery arrives the next day
- it’s about being in God’s will, not about the easy life that matters
- the wilderness might not be pretty, but it’s there where faith grows
- no matter how poor I am, no matter how empty my basket is, no matter how hungry I am, the amount I need always seems to show up – but not always exactly when my stomach growls.
and, the key take away point for me, for today, when I could feel the burden lifting off of my chest, temples and shoulders was this:
- no matter how much I worry, I cannot add or subtract to the amount of Manna provided because God Almighty knows what’s best for my soul.
Jesus asked this ( Matt 6:27, NLT version):
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
I write this today in hopes that someone out there who is in my shoes is encouraged. I’m thinking of one particular friend in Ottawa with whom, although we rarely have time to chat these days, has also chosen the path of most resistance for many years and found himself with humbled and asking for continual help. He, like I, know that there is something so important to learn on the journey that we have, for many years gone without, worked countless hours more than our neighbours and friends and have ended up with just enough Manna for today. I’ve always wanted to ask him if his heart, like mine, has become so thankful for the small things in life. I’ve always wanted to ask him if his relationship with God, like mine, has become so much closer through the journey of learning to trust our Heavenly Father.
And so, brother, I hope that this short post has boosted your faith in Christ, multiplied your thankfulness, encouraged you for the day, and given you hope for tomorrow.
Manna. It is this.
- I was often stressed
- I wasn’t able to provide for my family
- I was a great burden to my parents
- I had very little time with my children and my wife
- When I DID have time with my family, I was often preoccupied with the demands that come with running my own business
- I felt like a failure, but didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do it
- I wanted to succeed
- The professional path I choose does not define my level of trust in the Lord ( Col 3:23-24 )
- The Lord commands me to train up my children and have a great quantity of time with them (not just ‘quality’ time) ( Deut 11:19, Prov 22:6 )
- The Lord commands me to be the head of my wife, ministering to her faithfully ( Eph 5:25-30 )
- The Lord expects that I will make wise decisions and provide for my family. ( 1 Tim 3:5, 5:8 )