a few weeks back, i found myself re-reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Spirit-filled and poetic, her words were like water for my thirsty soul.
and recently, i find myself going back to a particular passage, one i have underlined in ink and even copied into the pages of my own journal::
“when we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. for forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna–a substance whose name literally means ‘what is it?’ hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. they fill on that which has no meaning. more than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don’t comprehend. they find soul-filling in the inexplicable. they eat the mystery…and it is ‘like wafers of honey’ on the lips.” (page 22)
they eat the mystery. they choose to trust even when they do not understand. they open their mouths and let Him fill them with what He sees fit.
oh, that my faith were as deep! i so often resent the mystery because it doesn’t fit into my neat little boxes. i strain to understand and, if i cannot, i push it aside, choosing to gobble up instead that which i can explain–even though i know it will not satisfy.
but what if i welcome the mystery? what if i stop asking why and how and when and instead let Him fill me?
i may not always understand that which God gives me. i may not be able to explain ache and the pain, the longing, the discontent. i may not have answers for the things i have seen and experienced and walked through.
but if i trust that He is good, i can trust that what comes from His hand is as well. if i choose to see His goodness and His grace instead of the circumstance or feeling, i too could eat the mystery. and it shall taste sweet.
in the book of Ezekiel, God gives him the mystery, feeds him the manna::
then i looked, and i saw a hand stretched out to me. in it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. on both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
and he said to me, “son of man, eat what is before you…” (2:9 – 3:1)
Ezekiel’s manna came in the form of a scroll. it took on the shape of lament and mourning and woe. and God still asked him to eat of it.
so i ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey in my mouth. (3:3)
Ezekiel trusted that God was good, and so he decided that what came from Him was good as well. even a scroll filled with sorrow.
Ezekiel chose to eat the mystery, digest what he did not understand.
and God made it good.
so much of this life is mystery. we walk through days and circumstance and emotion, and some of it hurts, and we cry out “why, Lord, why?”
and though i believe He has compassion, and He understands our human hearts,
i also believe there are times when the only answer He gives is to hold out His hand, offering us the scroll, the manna, that which seems to make no sense.
and if we listen closely, i believe we will hear Him saying, “eat the mystery, child. trust me. i make all things good.“