As Mom walked in the front door at home after work holding a flat box, her lanky teen sons Rick and Randy cast a shadow over the petite woman and sniffed with appreciation. They followed her and the aroma to the kitchen.
“Pizza! Extra large! Yum!” Randy took it from her outstretched arms and exclaimed as he opened the box, “Oh, man! It has everything good on it! Pepperoni! Extra cheese! Sausage! Green pepper! Olives!”
“Thanks for the ordering the supreme!” Rick gushed, “We are soooo hungry!”
What else is new in teenaged boys? Mom thought. At least they had something more to say than, “What’s there to eat around here?”
While she changed to casual clothes, her sons thought over how to set the table. With hope and hunger, the teens got out only two plates and a pizza cutter.
Randy called out through the closed door, “Say, Mom, didn’t you say you had a potluck at work today? We saw your salad in the refrigerator. You don’t want any of this pizza, do you?”
Already one of the two had started cutting the crust right down the middle into two pieces.
Hunger: a perpetual condition of growing teens.
Being hungry isn’t a new condition. Once freed from 500 years and many generations of slavery, the Israelites peered at the barren dry desert around them, complaining that in Egypt, they had meat, garlic, fish, vegetables, garden produce and seasonings—as much as they wanted!
Surely someone in that huge crowd, maybe even a teenager, might have asked, “What is there to eat around here?” An expanse of sand and rock reached out to the horizon. Along the Nile River delta, they were used to green and well-watered produce from the land. This desert didn’t even look habitable and watering holes were few.
But God reminded them of his all-knowing presence with Moses relaying God’s words: “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning, you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” [Exodus 16:11:12]
God provided manna each day for forty years, serving it up over thousands of days and mealtimes. The daily bread stopped when the Israelites camped on the plains of Jericho and celebrated their first Passover in the promised land. Shortly after, with God’s help, they conquered Jericho without raising a weapon. They ate from the produce of the conquered land after that.
God’s provision. Just as the Israelites transitioned from a lush landscape to a bare one, depending completely on God for daily needs, so our lives may be like that at times, too. Barren and dry. But trusting the Lord for needs, just as the Israelites did, is a rich experience that deepens faith.
“What’s there to eat around here?” It’s a fair question. The answer is, “What God provides.” That’s a promise never broken. It proves, “Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
Whether that is pizza or manna, it will be enough.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. [Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]