Day 12

The Lord Provides in the Wilderness

Exodus 15:22-27, Exodus 16:1-36, Exodus 17:1-16, John 6:41-51, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: Exodus 15:22-27, Exodus 16:1-36, Exodus 17:1-16, John 6:41-51, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5

I struggle with the idea of provision. The cultural ideal tells me that if I want something done right, I should do it myself. And the American dream assures me that I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps, and take care of my business on my own. We can find this subtext of self-reliance in most of our films and stories. When the heroine wavers on the brink of a difficult challenge or important decision, where does she find the strength to go on? She finds it within herself, of course. This is how the constant cultural inundation with the message of self-reliance sneaks into our brains.

So when I’m confronted with real world dilemmas, like, “Honey, how are we going to pay the mortgage this month?” and “How can we possibly help and heal our trauma-scarred adopted son?” My first instinct is to smile through my gritted teeth and TRY HARDER. We can make more money if we just hustle more, and we can help our kid if we just find the right program. I want to depend on myself and find the strength within to make our life great. The problem is, strength doesn’t come from within.

Scripture tells us that strength comes from outside of ourselves; our strength comes from the Lord. In the wilderness, the Israelites couldn’t provide for themselves. He provided for them, raining down bread from heaven (Exodus 16:4). And in the New Testament, God sent Jesus to us, who said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51). He is our provision for our earthly and spiritual needs.

Obviously, we can’t swing to the extreme of giving up all effort and work. Work is good. God called us to use our hands to create (I Chronicles 22:15-16; Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 2:10). There is a reason hard exertion of effort is satisfying: it is good. “There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand” (Ecclesiastes 2:24, HCSB). But our first line of provision is never our own effort, and it’s always God’s good gifts. The air we breathe, the sunsets we take in with awe, our very bodies—these are all good provisions from Him.

While we are so often tempted to complain, wondering where our daily bread will come from, God is already leading us to a land with springs of water. Like the Israelites, we grow frustrated with God, wondering, Why are you taking me into this wilderness? (Exodus 17:1-7). But He has called us to trust Him, that no matter the wilderness we may wander, He will provide enough for us each and every day.

Rest in His provision, diligently gather the bread He offers, and know that He is the Lord.


Post Comments (93)

93 thoughts on "The Lord Provides in the Wilderness"

  1. Wendy says:

    It’s good to question American individualism as it is not biblical. Community – specifically the church – is where God wants us to be and thrive. Someone wise once said that Christianity is not meant to be lived out alone. We need to live and grow together. Where two or more are gathered . . .

  2. Elizabeth Mayberry says:

    I find myself trying to provide for myself so often! As a full time blogger I feel solely in control on my income but I’m not – the Lord is the one who decides how much comes in! I was convicted in today’s reading by all the grumbling in the midst of provision. I wonder how much I do that. How much I feel like God’s goodness isn’t enough when in fact it is more than enough!

  3. Sharon C says:

    So timely for me! I will be losing my job in the next few months, and I’ve already been struggling with provision. It’s a good reminder that God will provide and I need to trust. I also love Exodus 17:11-12. I will see struggle, just as the Israelites did with Amalek. And I may grow tired, like Moses did trying to keep his hands up to win the fight – but I need to remember to ask for help. Moses didn’t do it alone, Aaron and Hur were there, helping him through it. Together we are stronger. Amen.

  4. Lauren Brooks says:

    Lord, you provide for me in the wilderness. I need you more in this wilderness than I need anything else.
    Let the only expectations be of your goodness and provision and faithfulness! Let me not worry with how you’ll do it, where you’ll do it, or when you’ll do it, but help me to simply trust in you that YOU WILL DO IT. I trust YOU with all the details. Open my eyes to the provision that’s already in front of me, so that more praise can be lifted up to do you!

  5. Kelley Fokey says:

    “No matter the wilderness we may wander…” such powerful words! And a timely reminder that God is there with us through it all, despite any doubts of His presence.

  6. Mary Abel says:

    He is my strength!

    1. Julie Waldvogel says:


  7. ERB says:

    I needed this today. Thank you for sharing and illustrating the LOVING FAITHFULNESS of our God!! He knows our needs before we even think or speak about them!! And for that I am truly GRATEFUL!!!

  8. Alexis says:

    This convicted me so much. I strive so much to have it all together and do things on my own. All it does is leave me weary and the complaining starts. How much more peace would I have in my life if I just laid back into the arms of my Father and put my total trust in Him? My goal this season is to just let go and put all my trust in God. If I fall, He will catch me. He will never leave me. God thank you for being so patient with me when I forget your goodness over and over again. I long for the day where I can have complete peace in trusting you.

    1. ERB says:

      Amen, Alexis!!! Amen!!!

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