It was one of those days when I found myself wishing again for something more. I wanted something more and yes, it was something material. I imagined what I could do if only I have more of what I already have. By coincidence, I heard a preacher on radio say something that snapped me back to my senses. “Don’t take for granted what you have. Don’t get tired of your manna.”
In biblical history, manna is food miraculously supplied to the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years. They were thin flakes that appeared on the desert floor every morning. According to the Exodus account, it was white and tasted like wafers with honey (Exodus 16:31). That’s why it was aptly described as bread from heaven. In spite of the seemingly sweet taste of this miraculous provision, the Israelites lost appetite for it and craved for meat.
The radio broadcast was a heaven-sent message for me. I was reminded to be thankful for the things I already have, no matter how little or few they may be. Six days later, my family and I would experience what I would consider as almost miraculous--we would receive manna for the next six days.
On Friday, my friend texted me to ask if I was home. Less than an hour later, she was knocking on our door and handing to us a bag full of goods from the wet market: eight fillets of blue marlin, the half of a big squash, about a kilo of ripe mangoes, also a kilo of red tomatoes, three salted eggs, and two pieces of eggplants. We were surprised at the bounty she brought to us. The following day, Saturday, a couple who came from Tagaytay brought us a pasalubong of one big watermelon and two small pineapples. We were so thankful because we love fruits.
We were already pleased and satisfied with our surprise supply of fish, fruits, and vegetables for the past two days, but another feast was yet to come. On Sunday, a couple we know celebrated their wedding anniversary. We didn’t go to their celebration but they sent us a sample of the delicious dishes they served--lumpiang shanghai, pork caldereta, and pansit bihon. I didn’t have to cook lunch and dinner for our family that day!
Monday came, and a colleague came too. She dropped by the house just to sign some papers but she didn’t forget to bring four oranges, one for each of the members of our small family. That’s four days in a row of blessings coming to our abode. Our next-door neighbor felt prompted to share his blessings too for on Tuesday, he gave us five pieces of heart-shaped green Indian mangoes, freshly plucked and coated with shiny resin. No one came on Wednesday and Thursday with a bag of grocery, but on Friday night, my daughter arrived from a cell group meeting with two big maya-maya (red snapper). The mother of one of her cell members gave the fish to our family as a present. Of course, I turned them into our favorite sour stew.
Getting all these free food felt like receiving manna. I said in the beginning that I was wishing for something more, but actually it wasn’t food, it’s something else. But the same principles stood out from our one week of manna experience. First, God knows our needs and even wants, and He can amply supply. But more than satisfying our stomach, God is concerned that our hearts are right. God wants us to have a thankful spirit.
I also learned not to take for granted what I have. Let’s not forget that aside from material wealth, our family and friends are one of our treasures. They can be used by God as channels of blessings. In return, we can also share with others whatever we have. Don’t underestimate whatever “little” you think you may have. Until you give it away, you’ll never experience the joy of realizing that it’s the miraculous provision someone is waiting for.