I’ve always wondered what it was like to live on manna and quail for 40 years like the Israelites did during their wilderness wandering. Every day, manna and quail. Fried manna, fried quail, boiled manna, boiled quail, roasted manna, roasted quail, quail and manna sandwiches, quail salad with a side of manna, quail manhattans over manna. For all they should have been thankful for, I have to admit, I understand their grumbling, too.

And yet, the monotony of quail and manna must certainly have had its benefits, as well. When their path seemed to be leading them in circles, when the enemies from within were often more treacherous than the enemies from without, and when God seemed far and distant, knowing that every day there would at least be quail and manna must have provided some much needed consistency.

That’s where I found myself yesterday evening after a very long week of uncertainty. I was tired of wondering what each day was going to bring, and when it came time to make dinner, all I could think of was vegetable soup and corn bread, old staples from my growing up days. 

With my dad still in ICU, the Pacific Ocean churning up a possible tsunamai, and my soul feeling as cloudy as the overcast sky, sauteing onions, peeling potatoes, and mixing herbs and spices felt like a taste of the promised land to me. And knowing that every time you mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt with an egg, some milk, and a little oil you get cornbread gave me an unusual sense of hope in this wilderness where I find myself.

Looking to the Lord for our daily bread is truly a way to exercise faith, but it’s also a means of great grace. A reminder that our great sustainer has everything in his hand.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3