This week I got two precious gifts of flowers.
My sweet friend Shari, knowing that Keith's birthday had just passed, and knowing that gifts are my love language, sent a wonderful dozen multicolored roses. They grace my kitchen counter in their full array, seeming to burst further open each day, yet staying fresh and lovely. As I looked this morning, their centers are actually starting to show, they have opened so far...yet not a petal has fallen. They are some of the prettiest roses I have ever received. They make me smile just looking at them.
The other gift was much different...but equally as sweet. A four-year old girl came with her mom for the first time to Bible study. As she left her house, she picked a clover from her front yard, and told her mom she wanted to take it to "Mrs. Liz." When she arrived, she shyly presented me with her gift, and we found a vase to put it on my kitchen counter. This sweet little clover is one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received.
It seems to be a week for me to receive gifts...and God has been no exception.
I have been studying the gift of manna to the Israelites this week, and this gift has a special meaning to me.
God's provision and His grace floor me...quite literally.
A few weeks after Keith died, a woman called me to come do a security investigation on one of my neighbors for his new government-related job. This is a pretty routine thing in our area. As we were talking about my neighbor and the family, I talked about how they had been assisting me since Keith had died, which I found to be a strong indicator of their character and beliefs.
The woman asked me if I was a believer and we started talking about things that were a lot more important than Chris's security clearance.
She told me the story of her church, which had been going through a really rough time and had lost a couple young members of the congregation. Her preacher had preached on manna as part of his messages of healing, and about God's grace wrapped up in that manna each morning.
For the Israelites, there was always enough manna for each morning. Whether they collected a little or a lot, when they measured the amount, it was always enough to meet their needs. Not extra, not some to save for tomorrow, but always enough. As long as they tried, it was enough.
As a result of our conversation...and her promise to pray for me, I am sure...I started mentally picking up my manna for the day each morning as I nursed baby Tanner.
And I got by.
More than that...we continued to thrive as a family. The manna was enough.
I get asked all the time, "How do you do it?"
The answer is daily reliance on my Savior. In my own strength I cannot do this. Not for a day. Not for an hour. Probably not for a minute.
In my own strength, I am short-tempered, sometimes mean, and often whiny.
I do not do this in my own strength.
Every day, I am in nearly constant communication with my Lord...through His Word; through His people; through prayer; through uplifting music; through wise words from books, devotions, and sermons.
And it is enough.
The manna has always, always, always been there.
And I know it always will be.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. - James 1:17