Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coming down from the Father

"He rained down manna for the people to eat"
Psalm 78:24

Recently, I was reading an update from the relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, about the work they are doing in South Sudan.  There has been civil unrest there ~ what a strange word "civil" is.... how can a word that means "courteous or polite" also apply to violence?  I know, in this case it means "occurring between citizens of the same country" but it sure seems like "civil unrest" is a contradiction in terms.

Anyhow, there has been violent unrest between the citizens of South Sudan, so thousands of refugees are fleeing from the fighting, and now have little in the way of food, water or shelter.  To make matters worse, it is the rainy season, and many of the roads have been washed out, so it has been nearly impossible for relief organizations such as Samaritan's Purse to get supplies to them.

So Samaritan's Purse found a solution.  They sent them supplies by dropping them down from a DC-3 cargo plane.

There's a lot to love about this solution.  I love that this organization even owns a cargo plane to use in situations like this.  It shows a great determination to do whatever is necessary to help people who need them.  It shows ingenuity in finding a solution to the life-threatening circumstances surrounding these refugees.  And I'm happy for the refugees, receiving much-needed food and clean water.  Look at their faces!

I just love picturing the scene when these crates of food, water, and supplies for building shelter, came soaring down from above.   It was such a beautiful reminder of God's provision to the Israelites as they wandered in the desert, far from a reliable source of food.

Now,  in a sense, this is not as miraculous as manna.  For instance, God told the Israelites not to collect any more than one day's worth of manna.  He didn't want them hoarding it; He wanted them to rely on Him.  And when they tried to collect extra and store it overnight, they found that it mildewed by morning ~ but not on the Sabbath.  Before sundown on the Sabbath, He did intend for them to collect an extra day's worth.  And that manna did not spoil.   Miracle.

This gift of food, from Samaritan's purse, was not mysterious.  The recipients knew it was coming, and even had to prepare the landing area, clearing away brush to make the airdrop possible.  But the effect it had for these suffering people, was just as miraculous.

It was a man-made solution.  But that doesn't make it any less "God-made".  We like explanations and solutions we can understand.  And frankly, we'd rather call something a freak coincidence than give God the credit ~ even the credit for inspiring and enabling humans to serve the suffering.  But James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above ~ sometimes even from a DC-3 cargo plane ~ and comes down from the Father in heaven.

Make no mistake ~ though it's been given to you by human hands, every miracle; every gift; every blessing comes from Him.

~ "Lord, when did we see you hungry, 
and feed You...?" 
and the King will reply, 
"Truly, I tell you, 
whatever you did for the least of these, 
you did for Me." ~
Matthew 25:37,40

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post. My boys and I just finished reading the stories about the manna from heaven. They were in awe trying to wrap their minds around the miracle. You're Samaritan's Purse example is a perfect tie in to further explain it to them. :)

    Kirsten of the North