God promises to provide. Over and over, His word declares that He provides for His children. Then one morning, you wake up, and what you knew of provision disappears. It was there yesterday. It has been there for decades. And, poof, it is gone. The world tilted while you slept and the feeling of loss remains not just in the provision, but in faith as well.
What happened?!? Has God abandoned? Did I miss a cue, a hint? Did I make a wrong turn and this is the result? Where did everything go?
Where did God go?
“While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 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 5:10-12, ESV
After all the issues related to getting into Israel, the people were in under Joshua’s command. They celebrated the Passover–which celebrates the protection of God in a time of destruction. They looked and found produce in the land, and they ate of it. That morning they had their umpteenth serving of manna, and by evening, they were feasting on cakes made from their new land.
Then dawn broke, the people awoke, and poof–or rather, lack of poof. No more manna. Wait, what? The provision of God, faithfully provided for literally as long as this generation remembered was no more. It was there yesterday, but gone this morning. Maybe they hung around, wondering if it would come later. Maybe they kept peeking up to the heavens, wondering if a stiff breeze blew away their breakfast. The celebration from the night before gave way to confusion the next morning.
They feasted at dinner. And at breakfast, the meal they were used to having laid before them for easy pickings was missing. Was God missing? No. But His provision had changed. Instead of breakfast delivery, the people faced a new reality: they had to go find their own meal. Now, that’s one thing when it is a celebration feast as the night before. But to awake with the surprise that the grumbly belly wouldn’t be filled with a simple bending and plucking must have been quite a shock.
No more were they to gather only provision for the day straight from the hand of God. Planning, stewardship, and the chore of preparation lay before them now. God’s provision changed, but it did not disappear. What came easy before now required a bit of work. But He still provided.
In moments when struck with the reality that something shifted, let us continue believing that God provides. It may look different today than it did yesterday. It could be that your situation is backwards from the Israelites, that you are used to the work to put food on the table but now you face the generosity of others to provide. Either way, God has not changed. His love for you has not changed, And His promise of provision has not changed. The only thing that changed was the way the provision came. Do not lose heart. rely on God, take a look around, and you may just find a different provision waiting for you to grab hold.