In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." … The LORD said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat." - Exodus 16:2-3, 11-15

Laid off from work. Loss of retirement portfolio. Banks closing. Billions in bailouts. Homeowners evicted. Recession. Depression. If only we could go back a few years and once again have the prosperity and job security we once had.

Whether directly or indirectly, all of us have been affected by the last months of economic hardship. The effects on individuals may vary, but the sentiment might be the same: We wish things were better…more like they were.

Not long after Moses was used by God to miraculously lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, did the Israelites long to be back in the bondage of Egypt instead of camping in the middle of a foodless, waterless desert. How quickly they forgot the troubles of the past as they faced the problems of the present. How soon they forgot the provision of the Lord as they confronted the lack of the present.

Yet despite the sinful complaining of the people, the LORD showed his faithfulness. He heard the complaints of the people and graciously provided them with manna and quail. Every morning the people were reminded of the faithfulness of the Lord as they picked up the pieces of bread. Every evening the people were filled by the quail that flew into the camp. In the midst of scarcity came the Lord’s generosity.

Does the Lord want us to learn the same lesson today? Absolutely! In the midst of layoffs and losses is the consistent faithfulness of the LORD Almighty. Every morning and every evening he provides. We may not have all we want, but we probably truly have all we need. Yet even more important than the food he gives to fill our stomachs is his love and forgiveness that he gives through his Son Jesus to fill our hearts.

What a blessing that in these times of layoffs and loss, we still have a faithful, forgiving LORD!

LORD, help me each day to rely on you, not just for my earthly needs, but most importantly for my eternal salvation. Amen.