All Manna Of Heartbreaks
Let me ask you a question. What next step is God wanting you to take right now? As you prepare to move one foot in front of the other experience reminds you that the last time you decided to leave the play-it-safer bench and step up onto the playing field, you got hit in the head with a ball of all manner of disappointments and heartbreaks. This experience made you retreat to benchwarmer status. It caused you to stay small and doubt God will provide for you in the future.
So, you complain to God for this sense of lack which in turn starves you from His presence. Now you find that you’re someone who only watches the game of Christianity from afar, rather than participates in it. However, God hasn’t forgotten about you. He sees you dear benchwarmer. But to keep swinging the bat in the game, you’re going to have to leave the bench and believe that God will rain down His manna to help sustain you even in the heartbreaks.
In Exodus chapter 16 we find the Israelites walking toward the desert of sin. They were about two months into their journey toward the Promised Land after leaving Egypt and they were suffering heartbreak. Even after experiencing all the miracles of the ten plagues, even though the parting of the Red Sea rescued them from an angry Pharaoh and a life of slavery, they still complained to God for sending them into the wilderness to die.
‘It would be better if we had died by the hand of the Eternal in Egypt. At least we had plenty to eat and drink, for our pots were stuffed with meat and we had as much bread as we wanted. But now you have brought the entire community out to the desert to starve us to death.’ Exodus 16:3.
Over the years, I have experienced all manner of heartbreaks and each time I experienced God’s provision, God’s manna even in the heartbreak. When I gained enough courage to leave the play-it-safer bench and step up onto the playing field, I had to decide to keep going. I had to believe and rely on God for my provision. He sent manna in and through my heartbreak, so I could learn to trust Him. Betrayal, debt, and slander are to name just a few heartbreaks I have experienced throughout my Christian walk. However, each time God came through with provision. Each time He never let my faith become so starved to the point of it dying.
I remember God asking me to take the next step in my calling to be a writer a few years ago. After all manner of heartbreaks from stepping onto the playing field of this creative desire, I had been hurt badly. So, I was quite happy to stay a benchwarmer because it was safer than pursuing my dream. Plus, the next step God asked me to do was really scary. So, of course, the first thing I did was go to Him in prayer… and complain. Do you know what He shot back with? “Wendy, why can’t you just do something without complaining about it?” Ouch! That was a softball from God in the head right there! If I was going to grow in my faith, if I was going to be everything God called me to be, I had to trust God to take me along the journey toward my destiny. And I needed to stop complaining about each and every step!
It’s so easy for Christians to romanticise their great calling. We get a word from God showing us to go in a certain direction and we believe we’re not going to experience any of the wilderness moments in the desert. We’re not going to have to go through all manna of heartbreaks to see God’s provision and trust Him regardless of our circumstances. We just want to snap our fingers in Egypt and reach the Promised Land because it’s too hard to have to rely on God for our provision in every step. This is when the pull of Egypt seems so inviting. Enticing us to turn around and go back to where it’s far more comfortable, where we had plenty to eat, and where we didn’t need to worry about the next difficult step.
However, we were slaves in Egypt, and to stay in freedom we need to listen to God’s instruction, so we stay on track. He will send manna/provision in our heartbreaks, just like He did with the Israelites. ‘Look! I will cause bread to rain down from heaven for you, and the people will go out and gather a helping each day. I will test them to see if they are willing to live by My instruction.’ Passing tests in the desert moves us onto the next step in our journey.
Although there are no guarantees in this life that you won’t experience another heartbreak even though you trust, believe, and collect the manna to sustain you, staying on the play-it-safer bench is not where God wants you to be. He needs you on the field, in the game, hitting those home runs. Joshua 24:15 reminds us to ‘choose this day whom you will serve’.
The sad fact is that broken-hearted Christians stay on the bench all the time. They are so scared to step onto the field and start to play just in case they get hurt again. But Charles Spurgeon spoke the truth when he said, “Hearts are broken in 10, 000 ways, for this is a heart-breaking world! But Christ is good at healing all manner of heartbreaks.”
So, today are you going to serve and give in to fear by listening to the lies of Satan, causing you to go right back on the play-it-safer bench? Or don’t you think it’s time to trust God, serve Him and believe that even in all manner of heartbreaks He will send the provision you’re going to need to keep you moving forward and start living out the adventure!
Do you long to get back on the playing field in your Christian walk but find yourself sitting on the play-it-safer bench? What manner of heartbreaks has kept you there?
I pray that today, you will collect the manna of provision God sent you from heaven, whatever that ‘manna’ looks like. And I pray that you will listen to His instruction, as you step out with boldness and a God-confidence that keeps you on the playing field.