Exodus 16:31 – The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (NRSV)
Numbers 11:7 – Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its colour was like the colour of gum resin. (NRSV)
This past winter in my adopted province of Alberta, Canada, I have experienced something called hoarfrost. This happens when a heavy fog freezes on everything. The most beautiful sight is trees, which have been bleak and dreary one day, covered with this white hoarfrost the next day. What makes it even better is when the sun comes out, and then the trees, bushes, long grass and everything else, seem to glow with this pure whiteness.
I had seen hoarfrost occasionally back in Ontario but nothing like we have it here in Alberta. Sometimes we get two or three days of fog and then the hoarfrost can become almost an inch thick on the trees.
One day I decided to get close to a tree branch and really examine the hoarfrost. To my amazement it was very light and fluffy. The simplest touch and it fell off. I even tasted some and it had the cool sweet taste of pure and fresh water. I suddenly realized that what I was experiencing was something that probably looked very much like the manna God fed the Israelites in the wilderness.
They were fed physically by this substance which burned off daily with the sun. I was being fed spiritually by a substance that was just as fragile and burned off with the sun.
In God's own way, he has always fed his children with food and with beauty. Often, like the Israelites of old, we come to take these things for granted. We grumble about something and then God provides for us in the most unexpected ways.
Prayer: Lord God help us not to grumble so much, and help us always to know that you provide such wonderful things for us. We deserve nothing, but in your grace you provide so much. Help us to recognize these blessings and always to give you thanks for them. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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