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Spoken in a low, monotone voice, “If I hear a knock on my bedroom door (dramatic pause), there better be blood or fire.” Said me, a very tired young mommy. Pointing a finger in the air to emphasis my parental positional authority.  Our four young children learned quickly, don’t get between Momma and her sleep.  Later in life I have learned, that level of hunger is called getting hangry. I was hungry for sleep, not food.  But I was hangry!  

In the book of Numbers the Israelite’s became hangry.  They began complaining as they lost their satisfaction of God’s provision of manna. Ultimately, they were hangry for different. What I find interesting is, they were contented until the rabble began to crave other food. Numbers 11:4

Who were the rabble?  People who were not Israelites.  They were outsiders if you will, traveling with God’s people. The rabble were not people accustom to trusting the character of God and recognizing His provisions.  They were just along for the ride out of Egypt.

There are plenty of rabble in our society to entice our appetites. There are rabble around many causes we support because of our Christian values.  The rabble screams what life should look like politically, culturally, financially, in marriage relationships, seasons of singlehood, retirement or family life. Listening to the rabble may eventually skew our peace and contentment with God’s ways and His provision in life.

May I ask, “What area of your life is your hand raised, with self-appointed authority because your hunger has grown so intense? Has your craving become so deep that you have become discontented and angry? In other words have you become hangry for different? Are you not satisfied with the manna God has provided?

As we read the account of the Israelites journey, it is easy to breeze over God’s daily provision of manna.  But have you noticed that the Israelites had to work their manna? They had to gather their manna.  They had to grind and crush their manna. And then they had to choose to cook their manna in a pot or bake it. I’m sure gathering the needed provisions for a fire and making a fire was no easy task.  They had to work their manna.

Has dissatisfaction with God’s provision set in?  What or who has God provided in your life that you have lost your appetite? Are your cravings so deep that you are hangry? What would it look like for you to work your manna?

Perhaps working your manna may involve reading books on time management, joining a couples group, getting a gym membership, catching yourself complaining with the intent to stop, taking a course on finances, making that doctor appointment.  Or taking action and putting your phone in the drawer, taking steps to advance your career, initiating a conversation with one you have chosen to cut off. Maybe working your manna means accepting some of life’s disappointing circumstances or paying the money and getting counseling.

God heard the Israelites complaining about His provisions. It made Him very angry. Like, nose flaring, burning with fury kind of angry. So He gave them different.  I’m sure the different tasted so good at first. “Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. ……until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it-because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you…” Numbers 19, 20 .  And so He gave them an abundance of easy to reach quail. “Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction.” Numbers 11:31 And I think, “Be careful what you ask for…”

Where does your heart go with that truth?

It brings me to my knees.

“Father, help me discern, am I craving your manna or quail?  Increase my appetite for your manna. Show me how to work my manna.”

I challenge myself and you to recognize the rabble around you and don’t cave to their cravings.  The current of this complaining culture can not only be strong but convincing.

Don’t give in to the rabble my friend. Work your manna!

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Lynn Jackson
Thrive Leadership Foundation