They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. // Exodus 16:21
There’s something about what happens once the sun warms up. The heat of the day’s trials. The energy-stealing blaze of its pressures and events. Worries can intervene in those afternoon hours, when time is racing past so quickly, when we’re certain we can’t handle them within the amount of daylight that’s left to us. Sometimes such stresses can be overwhelming enough, brazen enough, to melt us in our tracks, causing the strength and resolve of our hearts to weaken and disappear.
And while this reality is as current and relevant as the day you’re living right now, it’s also as old as an entire generation of Old Testament Israelites. They emerged from their tents at first light each morning, eager to gather God’s gift of manna that He had strewn across the ground overnight. This was a critical part of their day. An appointed activity. For they knew, once the sun ascended toward its towering position in the sky, this bread from heaven would melt away. Yes, the collection in their bowl would be more than ample for the day’s requirements. They would be able to serve their families and be assured of God’s provision, based on the abundant measure of what He’d given them. But they would need to wait until next morning before they’d find it new again, ready for another day’s work.
Perhaps this ancient illustration depicts for us the reason why our hearts so often stir for a fresh word from God—fresh bread—early in the morning, before the heat of the day has set in.
I realize not everyone is a morning person. I realize, too, depending on your stage of life and your weekly schedule, your “morning” may occur at various, uncustomary hours of the day. But I’m convinced that morning is a principle, not merely a time of day. It signifies a position of priority, a place of preeminence.
Perhaps you tend to devote your first sparks of attention each day to the newscast or your email, to the various trends and updates you missed while you were sleeping. But those moments are always more valuably invested in waiting before God, feeding on His Word, listening to what He whispers to your spirit . . . while your heart is most open and refreshed and able to assimilate truth.
So as you move on to your next devotional journey, continue giving Him your first waking thought, turned upward like a breakfast bowl, ready to receive the manna He is always so faithful to supply. A fresh word and fresh mercies. Remember the “morning” principle and prioritize the gathering of manna He offers you. Start each day and decision with an immediate declaration of complete dependence on Him.
Because the sun’s coming up soon.
Your manna is on the way.