One day at a time on your manna, people

Before anything else, let me thank Mr. Gary of Agape Touch. You are a great blessing as well. :) God bless you!

One of the stories that has been told to me since I was a kid was the story of Moses. I’ve always loved his story because it was so majestic and all that. I mean, who would not be awed to see the Red Sea parting, or water coming from a rock and all that? Plus, I’ve always thought Moses’ story was easy to understand because it was just composed of people who Moses was leading through the desert — stubborn, hard-headed people, that is. Much like me. ;)

Anyway, one of the parts of Moses and the Israelites’ story was where God provided food for them: meat in the form of quails and bread in the form of manna (Exodus 16:11-17). I thought that was so good of God to do that, and I thought His follow up instructions of gathering enough manna for the day (Exodus 16:16, 19) was just His way of disciplining His people so that there would not be any leftovers or spillage, plus to get their obedience in check. And of course, being the hard-headed people they are, they did not listen to God and gathered more than what they needed for the day.

Just the same, I sort of had this mentality that those “Jesus experiences” I’ve been in would be enough to last me for a long time. It’s like what happened after my own YFC Youth Camp: I didn’t know why, but I was on a spiritual high for the next few days. The same feeling lingered everytime I attended and served in camps, conferences and praisefests. No matter how tired I was after that event, I was always so happy and peaceful afterwards and that lasted the next few days. And when the feeling is gone (*cue music*), everything suddenly loses its sheen and plunges back into the ordinary: the wind where you felt God’s presence so much the day before ends up smelling like vehicle smoke, you no longer find joy in the people you live with or work with and the smallest things annoy the heck out of you.

What happened to that “high on Jesus” thing then?

The same thing has been happening to me lately. Coming fresh from challenges of the last school year, I was supercharged on God. Add to the fact that I went to the 13th YFC International Leader’s Conference and the GK1MB Summer Build, I was on an all-time high. My prayer time was consistent, I was hyped up with whatever challenge I was about to face in the next chapter of my life. That lasted for about…two to three weeks. Sometime around the last week of May, I suddenly faltered. I woke up one morning, ready to start the day with my Bible and prayer notebook in hand when I suddenly felt…dry.

I guess I speak for most devout Christians around here that spiritual dryness is something that we all dread. There’s nothing more disappointing and saddening than feeling that no one is listening to your prayers. At that single, starting moment of your spiritual dryness, you’d start to wonder if what you have been feeling for the past days (or weeks) are real and not a figment of your imagination. Forget that God was so present in your life yesterday, your main concern now is why isn’t He here now?
It’s kind of amazing, actually, how fast I took that turn. Oh yeah, I still tried to pray that day, but with even more effort than it used to. I felt like I couldn’t understand anything from my Bible, my daily devotionals (Didache, Sabbath, Grace for the Moment and My Utmost for His Highest — I know, I read a lot ^^; ) seem to be out of the context for me and the songs I listen to when I pray sounds meaningless. Worries suddenly loomed in front of me — bigger than I expected. I found myself crying out to God: Where are You? Why did You decide to hide from me now? What did I do now?

I did get out of that funk…after much struggling and all that. My prayer time more or less resumed to normal, and I started hearing from Him again…but you know what happened (and is happening) next? Instead of feeling the high that I’ve always felt for the next few days, I find myself waking up sort of dry every morning. I’m not saying that I don’t feel Him; it’s just that there’s this feeling like if I don’t get enough of Him the moment I kneel in front of His feet every morning, I will never feel that I am secure and satisfied for the day. My prayer starts to feel sufficient only for the day, and not for the next few ones, which got me wanting enough of Him (and sometimes more) every day.

It was then I understood the different meaning of the what Yahweh instructed the Israelites regarding the manna. Just get enough for the day and that’s it. It’s just the same with my relationship with Him. Not that I should just “get enough” for the day, but I should take it day by day. Not week by week, or month by month. I think it’s because if He gave us more, we would end up not using everything and the leftovers would end up spoiled/untouched or stale, and that would be no good anymore. And I think He wired us this way so that we would keep coming back to Him every single day to get our daily needs. In fact, I think He made me (and everyone else) in such a way that I would thirst for Him every morning, that at the start of each new day, the first thing I would do is run to Him and drink my fill for the day. One day at a time!

When I think about it, I find it just…lovely. This way, I always find myself running to God every day instead of just going to Him one day and then skipping the next and then coming back after a short period of time. It’s an everyday thing, this love story with God is. ;) This kind of relationship is much healthier isn’t it?

Let me end with this post with a song aptly named One Day at a Time by Jeremy Camp:

One Day At A Time
Jeremy Camp
Album: Stay
One day at a time i will walk this road i’ve traveled so far
One day at a time well i know i will carry on
One day at a time i can see you took my life this far
One day at a time I will take this faith along
All this hope i breathe is given by the hand that carries me
Until I’m complete and i’ll take all i will
To understand this plan you have for me, for me
I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways i never knew i would
I can’t feel your fullness in my life
Well i’ve been burned out broken torn out torn down
In ways i never knew i would
I can’t feel your fullness in my lifeOne day at a time I will take these words you’ve given me
One day at a time I will rest in knowing you
One day at a time I will share this gift you’ve given me
One day at a time I will walk these valleys through

All I know is that I see how much my heart
Is longing to be cradled by your side
And i’ll give all i can to one day soon
Be held by your hand, by your hand

In all these things i will press on
I’ll be with you i know it wont be long

Of course, there’s much more to our relationship with Him, but that’s for another post. :) God bless everyone! :)