Manna and Water
Have you ever been critical of the children of Israel as they wandered in the desert? I have. It seemed they were so ungrateful, always grumbling and complaining about something. Think about how God brought them out of Egypt in the first place and the miraculous way He rescued them from their enemies at the Red Sea. Yet they quickly forgot that and grumbled when they grew tired of the manna God provided each day for them. “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).
Shortly before Rick left for Ukraine, we both had extensive blood tests done and learned that we are both pre-diabetic, we both have adrenals that are exhausted, and then we each have some individual health issues. I have a liver disorder that continues to degenerate. Rick has some thyroid problems. Since Rick was getting ready to leave, the doctor sent him off with several supplements to take while he is away. I was put on an extremely restrictive diet and was put on a liver detoxification program. When I got all the details of what I could not eat, I was overwhelmed and called a dear friend, Connie Dietrich. She has a wonderful manner about her and deeper insight than most people I know. She told me to take a few days to think about it, that I was still in control of the final decision about whether or not to do this plan. She said, “You can still say ‘no’ or you can decide to go ahead. If you make the decision to do it, then you will own it, and you can even have fun with it.” It made sense, but I could NOT imagine having fun with it at that point!!! However, I decided to do my best at following this plan. But….I still did some grumbling of my own when I thought about not being able to have any cheese, yogurt, milk, ice cream, butter, eggs, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, beef, bacon, peanuts, peanut butter, rice, sodas, fruit juices, and two of my favorites – coffee and chocolate! This list was added to the fact that I already have to avoid any gluten-containing foods, such as bread, pasta, cereals, etc. “I’ll never be able to do it!” I thought. And immediately the scripture came to mind – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Okay, Lord. I heard You.
As the foods I COULD eat started to get a little boring (for a person who loves variety) after a few days, I found myself grumbling again. Then to top it all off, I reacted to something in the detoxification program and broke out with a rash. When I went back to the doctor for my next appointment, he said, “We’ll just have to take it a little slower with you.” So we cut the dosage in half on the main product and decided to add the others gradually one at a time. Now a program that normally takes three weeks will take six or seven or more!
My attitude dramatically changed though, when I read a devotion in a book that I have had for years, “Secret Strength for Those Who Search” by Joni Eareckson Tada. She wrote about the Israelites and their discontent. Then she referred to Numbers 11:4-10, and 18-20. The Lord was angry at the people and told Moses to tell them, “…..the Lord has heard your whining and complaints: ‘If only we had meat to eat! Surely we were better off in Egypt!’ Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. You have rejected the Lord, who is here among you…..” (Verses18-20 NLT).
Oh, forgive me, Lord, for my whining and complaining! I do not want to cause You to be angry at me, as You were with the Israelites. I have much more that I can eat than manna and water, and I’m sorry for being so ungrateful. Help me to be thankful each day for what you provide. I will praise You with my whole heart!