Do you remember the days of driving before GPS and cell phones? I used to look at a large atlas map and hand write instructions. I would remember the major highways, cardinal directions, and be attentive to every overhanging green sign on the expressway. This archaic way of driving however, is no longer the way I get from here to there. Now, I often set out toward Kentucky, Michigan, or Ohio before I have even spoken out loud “Hey Siri, navigate to the nearest Ikea.” While we once wrote down several days worth of travel instructions, we now depend on a voice to alert us before each turn.
Regardless of how you feel about relying on small electronics for directions while driving, God wants you to trust and depend on Him at each intersection of life. God’s chosen people, the Israelites were several days out from having been released from slavery and bondage in Egypt when they began to question the rescue. Before, while the people were in Egypt everyone knew there was meat and bread available, even if the price they paid was no freedom, peace, or future. For them, to physically see their provision was more important than following some dream of a better life. This is when God stepped into action.
“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” Exodus 16:12 NRSV
In this verse, we see that when God saw His people were ready to receive the lesson He miraculously provided them with meat and bread in the middle of the desert. The purpose of this, He clearly states is to help them know that He is the Lord their God. In other words, God set out to teach His people about trust and dependence in their relationship with Himself.
When Jesus came and fully revealed the nature of God through His teaching, life, and incarnation, He included this principle of trust and dependence as the de facto method of God’s provision. As Pastor Mark Batterson once noted, “Throughout Scripture God provides JEJIT. That is, ‘Just Enough, Just in Time’.” From Elijah and the widow to Psalm 23, the image we get is the same one Jesus paints in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
We are all tempted to desire more than daily bread. It would be so nice to have the security of weekly, monthly, or even yearly bread from God—visible sight of our future finances, relationships, accidents, and surprises. Yet, if we had all that, wouldn’t we rob ourselves of the most important thing—a relationship with “the Lord [our] God”? We would all love to see a miracle like the provision of daily quail and manna bread like God gave the Israelites, but we don’t like to be put in a place where we need a miracle. For that, it takes walking daily with Him in trust and dependence. You cannot have an adventurous life with God without it. I say, “I’d rather be a dependent child than a secure slave”. How about you?