When our science topic was about micro-organisms, I decided to make it a bit more real by growing some mould. I got various bits of food, and we watched and photographed them at various stages of decomposition. Although we encased it all, after a while, you could follow the smell to our classroom. Nice! Then someone came up with the notion of laminating some of the bits of mould so we could look at them under the microscope. Great idea, except that it all oozed out of the laminating pouch and burned onto the rollers. Killed the laminator; and the smell…mmmm! I was not the most popular teacher that day!
Manna was wonderful stuff. It fed the children of Israel out in the desert. But Moses made it clear that they were to gather each morning enough for that day and keep none overnight (Exodus 16:19-26). Regardless, some tried holding some back for a quick snack the next morning, before going out gathering. Sadly, like in my classroom, it rotted, and the smell led right to their door. In a tight community where disease would have easily spread, they did not need putrid food left around, and Moses was angry at their disobedience.
But it was more than that. It demonstrated their lack of trust in God who had promised to provide for all their needs. They wanted to hold on to some food, just in case it failed to arrive the next day.
But it was even more than that. They needed to learn to trust God for each moment; that each day his loving kindness would meet the needs of that day; that he was close by, aware of them, relating with them, interacting with them. Holding back food was holding back on God. And it was making do with the stale stuff when God had better, fresh food available for them. He wanted to bless them with the best.
A while back, I realised that a lot of my stories of what God had done in my life were old and stale. We cannot keep living on yesterday’s experiences of God, we need to be living with him, seeing new wonderful things every day. Today, not yesterday.
Open my eyes Lord, to see what you are doing right now, and open me up to fresh challenges where I need to trust you more, and allow you to do new things that develop my faith today. When I get the chance to testify about what God has done, let it be something fresh.