McManna Burgers? Day 4 in the Advent of a New Tradition

So, it bothers me that spending quality time with God doesn’t guarantee that the rest of my day falls neatly into place. I still get frustrated, disappointed, short-tempered and wonder why some things are the way they are. And I can be reading my Bible, having like this perfect moment of connection with what it says and who He is and how relevant that feels in my life but then someone interrupts and I’m annoyed with that person for messing up the connection – like a satellite break during a crucial cell phone call. But then it feels wrong to be grumpy with someone in the middle of connecting with God and I know it can’t be God’s fault so I feel like a hopeless spiritual case and like if I haven’t gotten it together at this point then probably I never will.

I’m not saying that’s what happened today but that kind of thing really bothers me.

On top of that, for two days now, my devotions and the devotions I do with my daughter both had to do with manna in the desert and not worrying about tomorrow. That’s really bothers me. And I hate that God would know if I do that pretend bad connection on the cell phone trick like “What’s that, Lord? The line’s breaking up, I can’t hear you, I don’t get what you’re trying to say.” Because, I do get what He’s saying but I don’t like it, I’m tired of it – manna stew, manna loaf, dried manna, McManna burgers, manna helper, deep-fried manna, bananamanna. But, one of those devotions was in Numbers 11 when the Israelites complained about manna and it’s a really colorful and clear retelling of how obnoxious it is when God’s people whine and moan and complain and aren’t grateful for their manna so I resolve to keep working on my attitude and really, I have a lot to be grateful for.

Things are going better with the being WITH others. Sometimes I forget how wonderful and liberating it is to commit the time and attention to really listening to another person for a few minutes – choosing to be with them in their story while they talk. It’s so much easier to love them when I’ve let myself be open-eared and open-hearted – something that requires me to be open-scheduled and not even glance at my watch. It’s actually relaxing to allow for a deep connection with people. It usually only meant fifteen or twenty minutes but the focus and the listening allowed the exchange to be meaningful. Which then made me want to be present for the next connection and gave me more insight into how to pray for people which will give me something to talk about with God besides me and my worries about tomorrow’s manna delivery when I meet up with him at the end of today.

How are things going for you as you try the advent of a new tradition? Living out Emmanuel – God with us – Day 4.

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    The Conversation

  1. Living Water says:

    Being grateful for what we have now and not worrying about tomorrow because we can count on God for His providence is a real blessing.

    Yes, we ought to take time to listen than to complain. Listening is a way of telling others we care for them. A look at the watch on the other hand is a giveaway. I must admit at times I am too busy to spend time with people in need and people who just want to know somebody cares. I am still learning how to be more patient and less time conscious.

    Thank you for your devotionals. They touch a chord in my heart.

  2. Cheri says:


    Thank you for being real, because it lets the rest of us know that we can be real too. I admit that I sometimes struggle being “with,” because as you said, it means being open-scheduled. I often have my day planned out, and God often has other plans.

    Like when I am going to work on Chapter So-and-So of my book all day, and before I can even write one paragraph, I get an IMPORTANT call from someone who truly needs to talk, taking at least an hour of my precious writing time. (And those instances usually occur in three’s for me, for some reason, so I might be out three hours of my time that day.)

    When this happens, I have to discipline my mind and remind myself that my book will be worthless and minister to no one if I do not learn to be “available” when God knocks at my door. Ministry is just that, ministry. It calls us outside ourself. No one went more outside Himself than our Lord when He became Emmanuel, God with us. And we are called to move in His ways… which is your point in challenging us to be “with” folks.

    I hope you realize that your blog here is an incredible ministry. I pray that He works in you, through you, and with you, as you move forward into His whole purpose for you.

    God bless you,

  3. Living Water – what a beautiful line “they touch a chord in my heart”. Thank you.

  4. Thanks, Cheri – just remember that Jesus drew away from the crowds sometimes, too. It’s OK, if He’s called you to write to do just that – write. That sometimes means saying no to the phone. It’s hard to always figure it out, isn’t it? That’s why staying in tune with the Holy Spirit and walking through life on our knees is so vital.

  5. Cheri says:

    “Walking through life on our knees” – a perfect word picture!

    Thanks for the encouragement and the excellent words of wisdom!

    Love you,