As you might imagine, given what I do to earn a living and minister to others, I think about food a lot—-probably more than the average bear. Food is a gift from God meant to be shared. There is something about food that invites community. Food tastes better when consumed in the company of others.
Friday night, Sweet T and I had the delicious opportunity to savor tasty food at a regional steakhouse opening its second Dallas-Fort Worth location. The new Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes location opening in North Richland Hills next to its sister restaurant-Babe’s Chicken-is sure to be a hit. It’s simply a beautiful restaurant featuring excellent food. If you’re familiar with the Sweetie Pie’s location in Decatur, you will find your favorites alongside some fresh adventurous offerings like fried tuna and cowboy custard. The décor honors a myriad of Texas history, including Texas heroes like Sam Houston and Davy Crockett, cowboys, and Texas culture.
Since starting my new gig as the Food Services Manager for OurCalling, I have naturally been reading a lot about faith and food. We serve the burgeoning local Dallas homeless population. Homelessness plagues thousands of people not only in Dallas, but throughout Texas and America. Our organization believes the way to a healthy and productive lifestyle should be accessible to all. None of us find that path alone. We all need help from time to time. At our ministry, I am responsible for all things food, including cooking lunch five times a week for hundreds of people in need. My kitchen crew consists primarily of volunteers from varied backgrounds and different levels of skill. A few have worked in a kitchen environment before. Many are experiencing their first time volunteering in a ministry and working in a kitchen. As I mentioned in a previous post, since we are largely dependent on food donations, menu planning is a constant adventure.
Over the weekend, one of my readings centered on Exodus 16:11-18.
11The LORD said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.'” 13That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'” 17The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.Exodus 16:11-18 (NIV)
Manna was a supernatural provision given to the Israelites by God to sustain them during the exodus and wilderness wandering period. It came with the dew every morning, as the sun rose. They were to gather it; every family, every day, plenty for all in the family to eat, but only enough to eat for that day. On Friday, they would gather twice as much so that no work (gathering or cooking) would be done on the Sabbath. The Israelites observed Sabbath from twilight Friday evening to twilight Saturday evening. The manna would be good for two days during the Sabbath. . Manna was a fine flake-like item, white in appearance, and tasting like wafers with honey (Free Bible Commentary).There was always enough for everyone.
The measurement of an omer evolved over time. At first, an omer measured about a cup. Later, it measured nearly a gallon. The last two verses in this passage point to another miracle. Traditionally, rabbis understood the miracle to be that regardless of the amount each family gathered, they had exactly what they needed. However, the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 8:14-15, heralds the sharing of the food between the people as the true miracle, because that was neither their nature nor disposition.
In my short time with the OurCalling ministry, I have witnessed a number of miracles, particularly during Snowmageddon. Simply put, I have seen, heard, and experienced too much not to believe that God exists. Miracles demonstrate God’s power and mercy. Miracles are parables of works that alter us when we witness them. Regardless of how you encounter Him, God never leaves you unchanged.
In Scripture, Jesus compares Himself to the manna. He gave Himself unreservedly. Like manna served to sustain the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, Jesus sustains us and gives us life. When we focus on Jesus and what He means to our life, our hearts, souls, and minds are nourished by Him. In Jesus, we find exactly what we need.
God gives us what we need. He supplies all we need to everyone who comes to the table.
My prayer for you this week is that you feast on the Word of God and that you would trust the Lord for your sustenance and to meet all your needs today. Focus on today. Let go of yesterday. Don’t step into tomorrow. Do what God puts in front of you this day. No doubt, He will supply all that you need.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, shining His favor on you.
The Devotional Guy™
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