In the book of Exodus we read about Moses and his great deliverance of the Israelites. After the Israelites left Egypt they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years waiting on God to lead them to the promised land. While they were in the wilderness, the Israelites started to complain about how Moses saved them. They were slaves back in Egypt but compared to just wandering around in the desert with no food, the slave life in Egypt was looking pretty good! We read in Exodus chapter 16 that the Israelites started grumbling and complained to Moses, “We had meat in Egypt but then you had to go and lead us out so that we could starve out here in the desert!”
Of course, there was no food in the desert. How were they to survive? Why would God lead them out of Egypt only to bring them to a desert? Don’t we feel like we’re in the wilderness sometimes? We feel like God leads us somewhere only to abandon us. I know this feeling quite well.
A few years ago, the Lord laid Foster Care on my heart in a huge way. I politely told the Lord that while that seemed like a nice plan, it simply wasn’t my plan. After all, my plan was pretty good. Drew and I had only been married for a few years at this time and having children wasn’t even a thought in our minds.
After a few months, the Lord made it clear that this was the plan for my life. I prayed that I would be obedient to His plan and so my husband and I started praying fervently. We prayed that His desires and His plans would become our desires and our plans. While it took some time, the Lord was so faithful to answer these prayers. After a year and a half of praying we decided that we were ready to pursue the plan that God had for us.
Our road to Foster Care has been long and bumpy to say the least. There have been so many times that I questioned God’s plan and His timing. For much of the time, I have been the grumbling Israelite – “God, why would you call me to this and then make it so hard?”
In Exodus, God’s response to the Israelite’s grumbling for food was this: “I will rain down bread from Heaven for you.” Manna wasn’t just bread from the sky, it was God providing for His people. He wasn’t just filling their bellies, He was trying to shepherd their hearts. God was teaching the Israelites to learn how to depend on Him for all of their needs.
All of the manna for their forty years in the wilderness did not come at one time. The Israelites had to learn to trust God daily for His provision. You see, once we start walking in daily dependence on God, we have to keep walking in it. God’s desire is to be in fellowship with us, and one way He draws us into that fellowship is by meeting our needs one day at a time (Howard, Seasons of Waiting). For forty years, manna rained down from Heaven every morning (except the Sabbath).
Throughout the past two years, God has rained manna on my life. He has not only met my needs but exceeded my expectations with His provision. While I do love bread, this manna looked different.
I saw the manna when my prayers were answered and my husband said it was time to start paperwork.
I saw the manna when a sweet friend turned case worker answered all of my questions about orphan care.
I saw the manna when our families understood (and rejoiced) that adoption is the way we want to start our family.
I saw the manna in the way my mother-in-law helped me decorate the nursery for a child I didn’t even know yet.
I saw the manna when our families helped with the financial burden of the beast that is DSS paperwork.
I tasted the manna when cookies showed up on my door step the day we failed our home inspection.
I saw the manna in God’s peace and comfort when other sweet friends found out they were expecting.
I saw the manna when friends sent encouraging texts on my hardest days.
I saw the manna in the way my Mom sifted through paint chips with me for hours in order to pass our Lead Paint inspection.
I saw the manna when friends and family threw me a baby shower for a child they didn’t know yet.
While I still feel like I am wandering, I know now that I am not doing so alone. I have a God that is walking with me every step and providing for me. I also know that this time is not wasted. My Shepherd is teaching me to depend on Him for my every need and I am learning to follow His voice.
Sarah Kathryn Marlowe
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