The last couple of weeks, I have talked about our tendency as moms to prioritize the non-essential, and push through feelings of weariness.
This week, I want to talk about manna.
Remember the Israelites? We’ve read the story a million times so it can lose its impact because of it’s familiarity. But humor me for a minute while we revisit it. The Israelites were freed from 400 years of slavery and bondage and then the Lord had them wander through the desert…for a LONG TIME.
Because he was training them to live in a new way…
Not as fearful slaves serving a cruel master. But as FREE people. Free people DEPENDENT on a LOVING SAVIOR. I think it’s critical we recognize that TRUE freedom still requires dependence.
As we know, it took the Israelites a long time to fully grasp the “dependence” concept!
Here’s how it went – God rained down Manna from heaven every day to provide for their needs.
But there was a catch. Do you remember what it was?
They had to collect the manna EVERY MORNING.
Couldn’t store it up.
And if they tried?
You see, having lived in slavery for so long, the Israelites (in order to survive) had become self-reliant and desperate. They learned how to hide food. Save up for tomorrow. If they didn’t, they might not have what they needed to live.
But God intended for His people to live differently. He wanted them to trust Him to supply for their needs. They didn’t need to “go it alone” anymore. But that was a hard habit to break.
We don’t have to fly solo either.
It’s tempting to try to “go it alone” because it feels safer to be in the driver’s seat! Dependence is scary. But, as we’ve seen, “go-it-alone” independence has some major costs to our lives and relationships.
I referenced Stephen Covey’s 4 quadrants for time management a couple weeks ago. Are there days when you, like me, tend to see EVERYTHING as essential and squish it all in the “urgent/important” quadrant? What happens when you do that?
You grow weary, right?
What do those days feel like to you? I’ll tell you how they feel to me. They’re utterly exhausting. And the only thing I have energy for at 8pm is to watch “Friends” re-runs and scroll mindlessly through my Facebook feed. I spend the precious few moments left in my day in what Stephen Covey calls the “non-urgent/non-important” quadrant because I’m tapped out. Checking the boxes off my checklist led to me CHECKING OUT.
But there are other days, when I collect the manna. I place “RESTORATIVE REST” in the “urgent/important box.” Those days are different. I eat healthier, make time for a workout, get on the floor and play trains with Robbie out of a place of fullness instead of exhaustion, and enjoy making dinner while the kids and I dance to country music. Those are the days I ask Steve about his day after the kids go down and we don’t even turn on the TV.
Those are the days I’m full.
Those are the days I love.
When I intentionally spend my day in a posture of dependence on the Lord, and come to Him when I sense that I’m growing weary….I can actually live RESTORED and RESTED.
Those are the days I FLOURISH.
“I have on my table a violin string,’ wrote Rabindranath Tagore. ‘It is free to move in any direction I like. If I twist one end it responds; it is free. But it is not free to sing. So I take it and fix it to my violin. I bind it and when it is bound, it is free for the first time to sing.’ ‘True freedom comes when we bind ourselves to Jesus and fix our eyes on Him. As the violin string comes alive when bound into the violin, so we come alive in Christ. Jesus is the great liberator. He sets us free.