The other night Lindsey, the kids, and I were getting home from a long day of activities. Peaceful. Tranquil. The kids had fallen asleep in their car seats. Franklin was snoring. That little dude can shake the shingles when he snores! When we pull into the drive my loving wife says, “I’ll lay the kids in the bed, if you will gather the toys, kid’s cups, and other things from the van.”
She went on to get them settled and I set about the task of getting everything gathered up. As I was cleaning out the van, I noticed that there was one of Franklin’s thermoses under the driver’s seat. We had lost this particular thermos a long time ago so I was glad to find it. I brought everything into the house and started to put things away.
I walked into the kitchen and took the top off of the lost thermos. Immediately, the most horrible smell filled the entire kitchen. The lost thermos still had milk in it…
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced rotting milk, it’s bad. The smell is bad. The sight is bad. The entire situation is bad.
In Exodus God provides food for his people in the desert by giving them manna each morning. The very first time that he provided the manna, something interesting happened.
Exodus 16:18b-20a New International Version
Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.
What’s interesting to me about this moment in the Israelite history is the approach they took to the provision of God. Back in Egypt, as slaves, they most certainly would have relied on their masters for provision. Maybe they had their own livestock, but at the end of the day, they were enslaved. So the mindset of the people would have been to store and even hoard any food that came their way. Who could blame them? They may or may not get food tomorrow.
BUT now they were free from the rule of the Egyptians. It is a new day and time for a new mindset. The Egyptian slave masters are no longer the providers, God is.
The Israelites who gathered more than they needed saw their stash of manna rot and smell. Their trust was in their ability to hoard, not in God’s ability to provide.
I can’t be too hard on them. I do the same thing. I’ve experienced peace in times of trouble, hope in times of struggle, kindness in times of need, and the list goes on and on. All of these things are God’s provision in my life. However, like the people who kept manna for later, I’ve been guilty of holding on to God’s gifts. I’ve hoarded them to myself saving them for later in case of an emergency or a rainy day. I’ve been guilty of not trusting that God’s provision would be there the next day and the next day and the day after that. Every single time that I needed it.
Hoarding God’s provision is the mindset of a slave. Trusting for provision is the mindset of a child of God.
Are you hoarding God’s provision? What are some gifts that He has given you that you could share with others?