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The Manna Menu

We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now, our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!  Numbers 11:5–6 NLT

I once worked for Youth with a Mission in Kona, Hawaii.

In a time of financial testing, food services devised a low-cost meal we called the manna menu that consisted of lentil stew and pumpernickel bread. We ate this meal for lunch and supper for about a month. It tasted suitable for the first few days, but eating any food repetitively deadens the palette. Also, this dish had gastrointestinal side effects.

Some of our leaders felt God had pulled the purse strings on the ministry because we were showing selfishness over our meals. Some at the front of the line took too much food while some at the end did not get enough. God used finances to get our attention.

Eventually, God released the finances, and we went off the manna menu. Occasionally, some still took more food than they needed at mealtime. Finally, someone would say, “Remember the manna menu.” That cured our selfishness, at least for a while. We instituted a manna memorial meal regularly so we would not forget.

God’s people remembered the good food they ate in Egypt but forgot the price they paid for it: slavery and ill-treatment.

We, too, often have selective memory. We remember the good but forget the bad.

God’s provision for us is not always fun and games. God has a reason for everything He does. Manna was plain, ordinary, and repetitive, but God’s people learned to live on what they needed, not wanted. They discovered we don’t live by bread alone but by every word from God’s mouth.

Are things that you enjoyed before salvation tempting you? Are you remembering the good but forgetting the bad? 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/