In the last three weeks, I have had all manners of cravings – from Pizza to FanYogo (a yoghurt snack sold in Nigeria), and not all my cravings have been satisfied. And rightly so. For example, FanYogo is sold in Nigeria, and I currently reside in Canada. I may have told my brother that after this current lockdown, I will find a way to get some FanYogo shipped out here, hoping that they are still being sold.
What I am getting at is this – as seasons change, so does our desires/cravings.
The world at large is going through a season of discomfort and hardship, and it is really important that we are intentional and conscious of what we are craving this season.
In Numbers 11, the Israelites had just made way from Egypt on their way to the Promised land- they were in between. Not in Egypt, neither were they in the Promised land.
And what did they do? They grumbled.
It was no longer a thing to give thanks to God that their prayers to be delivered from Pharaoh, had been answered. They were blind to the fact that they were no longer oppressed. They were free from hard labour, but it was not good enough as long as they were not in the Promised land.
As I point my finger at the Israelites, I cannot help but think I am talking about myself too. A season has ended, but I still long for the thrills, responsibilities and blessings of the ended season because I had become a master of the ended season. I knew what to expect. I thought I was in control of all my affairs. Just like the Israelites, I could tell that on a Wednesday, A or B was to be done and I knew that there will be meat and fish to eat.
“I know that season was hard, but there was a system, and I had found my rhythm on how to work the system”.
Meat or Manna
So while at Camp Kibroth Hattavah, the riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the people of Israel whining, “Why can’t we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt – and got it free! – to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna. Numbers 11 v 4-6 MSG.
There was nothing wrong with the craving for meat- meat is a good thing. But is the meat the most sustainable for the current season you are in? My take is this: the meat and fish were sustainable for the time the Israelites were in Egypt, considering the hard labour they were involved in. So this source of protein served them well by giving them strength for that season of their lives.
Manna was a seed like substance (in my opinion, I would categorize it as fibre). My thought is that Manna was sustainable enough for the Israelites to embark on the journey to the Promised land. It was not ‘heavy’ like meat, and energized the Israelites to walk without being weighted down by their nourishment.
Sometimes, our cravings for what was before, prevents us from who we are to be.
After all the whining, God provided quails for those that craved meat. The beautiful thing about God’s provision of the quail was that they did not have to kill the animals they had with them to eat. God provided the quails from the sea. God choosing to feed the Israelites with manna was not because he could not provide meat – He definitely knew what was best for the Israelites in that season.
So what am I learning from the Israelites in this season of COVID-19 outbreak:
- I am saying no to grumbling and choosing thanksgiving – when I am tempted to complain about what is not perfect in this season, I will thank Abba for the gift of the present- the Manna – the miracle of trusting his sovereignty that even before I showed up to this day, he has made available all I need to fulfill destiny.
- I am going back to the basics – loving my neighbour as myself. Being gracious to myself and my neighbours. Being kind to my neighbours. Praying for myself, family, friends, leaderships, and the world. Thinking of life outside of myself, and giving what I have, studying the word, etc.
Who is my neighbour – anyone who gets affected by my actions or omissions
- Trust and Obey – in this season, I am relearning to trust God and obey him. For me, this looks like asking Abba what he thinks before running with anything. It is easy to step out of this rhythm, especially when we buy into the false idea that we have absolute control of what goes on in our lives.
- Putting my filters on – now more than ever, we are to carefully choose what we are taking in- information, chats, news, our imaginations. Philippians 4 v 8…
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
In Numbers 11, those who craved meat were buried in Kibroth Hattavah. In this season, we need to subject our cravings to the spirit of God, so that we do not become subjects of our cravings.
The only way we can be certain that we crave for the will of God in this season is by being led by the Spirit of God. I am asking God to check the posture of my heart- my motives. I am asking that like the tribe of Issachar, that I be graced to understand the times, with the knowledge of what to do.
So we pray: Abba, help us to desire/crave to do and be all that is in obedience to your will in this season. Amen.
PT TIP OF THE DAY
The bliss of uncertainty causes faith to arise.