And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
“I cried myself to sleep every night with the Psalms.”
Mrs. Sarah, who shared these words with our Bible study group, knows what it looks like to spend an unexpected season in the wilderness of suffering. Not long after World War II, when she was a young mother with two young children, Mrs. Sarah needed to return to school to finish her teaching certificate so that she could help support her family. She packed her bag and moved eighty miles away from home and family to complete her final year of college. In this lonely and difficult season, Mrs. Sarah turned to the nourishment she knew she needed, God’s Word.
Anyone who has spent much time in the wilderness of suffering knows the humbling that comes during crisis. Stripped of the familiarities on which we often depend for comfort, we learn that we do not, in fact, live by bread alone. Deuteronomy 8 reminds us that in the wilderness, God did not merely humble his people, he also fed them. He fed them physically with something called manna, a word that in the original Hebrew literally means, “What’s this?” It was a food unlike anything the Israelites had ever heard of, seen, or tasted. It fell from the sky, and it looked something like flaky frosty cereal but was a lot more nutritious!
God fed his people physically with this strange food, and he fed them spiritually with his Word. In our own wilderness of suffering, we are humbled, and our hunger and thirst for good news intensifies. More powerfully than any IV fluid, God’s Word drips into our hearts and minds to energize us with the faith, hope, and love we desperately need.
Faith is strengthened by Scripture’s true redemption stories…