Immediately after the Exodus, the people of Israel began to grumble. They were tired. They were hungry. “At least in captivity we ate all the food we wanted,” they said (Ex 16:3). So that evening the LORD sent quail; but in the morning He sent something different. He sent manna.
Manna. A “small round substance as fine as frost” (Ex 16:14) that “looked like white coriander seed, tasted like wafers made with honey” (Ex 16:31) or “pastry prepared with oil.” (Num 11:8). It could be baked or boiled, “ground in a handmill or crushed in a mortar, cooked in a pot or made into cakes” (Ex 16:23; Num 11:8). The manna appeared with the morning dew then melted away as the sun grew hot (Ex 16:21).
For forty years the Israelites ate manna. In fact, according to Joshua 5:10-12, the manna did not stop until the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River, camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, kept the Passover, and eaten the crops of Canaan.
As a writer, how many times have I, like the Hebrews, grumbled against the LORD—asking for words of meat but receiving only manna? “It’s not enough!” I cry. “It won’t sustain me!” How many times have I begged Him to fill the empty white pages with words that will feed the souls of others and draw them into my story, only to end up with minuscule fragments that seem to melt away with the morning sun?
Too many times to count.
I, like the Israelites, sometimes want to walk away. Sometimes want to return to the way things were before the LORD called me to write. A simpler way. A way that didn’t require collecting a handful of manna each morning and hoping those words would be enough to get me through the day. But like the Israelites, I can’t walk away from a place the LORD wants me to be. So I’ll step out in faith, one more time, and take God’s daily provision of words. His daily provision of manna.