I think that it’s funny that when the Israelites were in the wilderness, God’s answer for their food need was Manna. Many naturally figure that manna was bread, when the Bible doesn’t say that. Manna actually means “What is it?” (Exodus 16:31) Leave it to my omniscient Creator to give a provision that has a name that’s actually a question. It says that: “It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” So we know that not only was it edible, but it was tasty (however, too much of anything gets old quickly). The eternal question is “What WAS it?” I mean, seriously. Was it angel dandruff, the first draft of snow, or do they eat it in Heaven? We may never know, but I was thinking about the manna in my life.
I lived without a vehicle for a while. After a lot of walking and such, God finally gave me one. One was a Buick…no wait, two of them were Buicks. For a while I thought that Buicks were all that they drove in Heaven. One Buick was as old as me (a 1977), and the other one was a 91. It’s funny my vehicles would always last right up until the very end; then at the last possible second, God would bring another one along for me. Some of them were definately Manna Vehicles (What is it? Vehicles). It’s funny how things always happen suddenly and at the last minute with God. Unless of course it’s so far ahead of time that you don’t know you need it until years later.
One day of my need for God sticks out in my head and heart. I was in limbo between two ministry seasons and bills were tight; and I’ll I knew to do was to cry out to God. I took a trip to the bank to see what I had to pay bills with. The ATM teller told me that I had -18 cents. So now I had less than nothing…actually 18 cents less than nothing, and you can’t really pay bills with that. Returning home my knees hit the hard, rough, wood floors of my cabin. I eventually, somehow, ended up reading Exodus 33, where Moses was talking to God about how he was scared and how he didn’t want to go forward unless God went with him. God told him that He would go with Moses…and Moses upped the antey by asking God, “Show me Your glory.” Forget the squeezing by on moment to moment nuggets of presence. God I want all of you that I can get. So I tried that. I cried out to God, “I will not go unless You go with me! I just want You!” Well, He didn’t take me up onto a mountain…but that night I laid out on the pinic table in my front yard. It was a clear night and you could see everything: the milky way, the big moon, and stars shooting on their way somewhere…maybe to see God’s glory. I lost myself in the sky. Maybe I didn’t see the glory of God…but I saw the glory of what He made. I was hit with the revelation that God has me under control, He has taken my heart, and captured my loyalty and affection. That somewhere in the silence of the moon and shooting stars He told me, “Yes, Joel I’ll go with you. I love you.” Within the stellar love of my Creator for me, I felt His OK for me to ask for the greater mysteries of Him…and I have been chasing those ever since. The next day a support check came in the mail (for my ministry), the amount covered my overdraft fee and a bill that was due the following day. But even that was not the miracle. The miracle was that I was caught in a cosmic love affair with the Creator of the Universe. That night my prayer said:
So, here I am, my dearest Lord. Here I am with tired eyes. Here I am with my overdrawn banking account. Here I am with my cracked brick walls. Here I am with my arms tied down, legs broken, and old dreamlands dusting on the shelf. Here I am, the pieces of me that I don’t know how to put together. Here I come with my thoughts of who You are. Fumbling and bumbling, I’m trying to let You know that I know You are here. Here I am on the edge of this moment, tomorrow, and myself. If I am Your friend, then go with me. Cut the ropes of this society off of my arms, heal my legs, and convince my often-unbelieving heart that reality is wherever You are. I will only go if You go with me. I beg, “Show me Your Glory.” And when You reveal it, please give me eyes to see it. Let Your unknown be my home. And while I don’t comprehend it, let it somehow give me peace. Amen.
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