And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. Joshua 5:12
The other day, I stood in the kitchen doing the dishes, and started weeping.
It was a rare occasion, thank God, and Nick looked at me bewildered till I could finally say what was going on. "We have so many spoons", I said, looking at him through my seemingly irrational tears. And he nodded, completely understanding.
"Yeah, we do. Praise God."
There have been seasons where we've haven't had enough spoons to have another family over for dinner and not enough money to buy any more. The Lord has always provided the food and the friends, but the spoons.... eh, we haven't always had those in abundance. And what's worse, we've had days where me crying in the kitchen wasn't rare. Or at least, it sure wasn't out of joy and thankfulness for how many spoons we have.
I've talked about depression and the hard years we've had. But I want to give a direct testimony to Jesus for all our "spoons". I'm not sure what the exact turning point was, but sometime in the last few months I went from feeling more and more inadequate by the minute to more and more upheld & made able by the Lord. There were days when my husband was scared to leave me alone all day and now, there are days when I just want to text or call him all day to share my joy with him. Over nothing, over everything. Time spent with our our children felt draining and terrifying and hard, and now it feels life giving and sweet and more of a blessing than I could describe. I felt alone and confused and now I feel His presence surrounding and upholding me and guided by His spirit. If I was bewildered at why He was allowing me to hurt so badly, I'm really bewildered at why He healed me so quickly. I don't know the answer, I just know to respond in praise.
I read this verse, the one from Joshua, the morning I had the crying fit over the spoons and identified so much with those crazy Israelites. A lot of the desert had been their fault, they sinned in it, they constantly forgot the Lord and His goodness - but I think we discount them all too often without realizing how alike them we would've been. How alike them we all are. In my most faithful of friends, I've never met someone who's walked through a desert and hasn't wondered why the Lord purposed it for them. Maybe they don't curse Him or turn to another god altogether, but of course they wonder. Want to know why. The point is, the desert was awful and hard for those Israelites and if you've been, if you're currently in, a desert - no matter your own sin in it, (that you need to address) it's hard.
You'd rather die there some days than carry on, and I know that sister.
But He turned the page. Exodus turns into Leviticus turns into Numbers turns into Deuteronomy into Joshua. And you know what's coming in chapter six, those walls are coming down. I'm currently in chapter five, verse twelve. I can feel it in every little corner of my heart. It's not filet mignon, it's not ferrero rocher chocolates. But it's not manna. It's fruit. It's more than just enough and less than too much that He's given. It's a two bedroom house and three kids and just enough energy to spill it all out and collapse at midnight. It's Columbia before Boston and Riverside Church and it's joy that comes in the morning. It's praying through the hard stuff in the kitchen instead of collapsing on the couch. It's still a battle and there are still countless battles ahead that I have no idea about.
But for today, it's fruit instead of manna.
It's fruit that I can share instead of sustenance that dissolves quickly after it sustains.
And so, this isn't just a testimony of how wonderful He is. It's a reminder to myself for the days when my kitchen tears aren't joyful and hopefully, an encouragement to you if the story He's written for you is only just enough to get you through today. Even though we don't know why in the world there is that desert, we can still press in and believe in His infinite love and wisdom. We can still get excited about the fruit, still believe in His desire for us to live on more than just barely getting by. Even if for today, that is His absolute good for us.