Are you in a long stretch of wilderness?

I wore my favorite work shoes and pants this Thursday. Best shoes. Best pants. I was ready to go.

They are wearing out.

Though both still look great, each is showing some wear-and-tear. I have tried on several occasions to re-purchase them. I have searched on Google using the exact brand and style name of the shoes, scoured Amazon, and checked DSW where they were purchased.


I have also searched widely for the pants on Google and Amazon, also using the exact brand and style displayed on the tag. Since I get most of my clothes from TJMaxx, Goodwill, and the Kohl’s clearance rack, I am aware that I regularly wear cycled-out clothing. The fact that I could not find the pants from TJMaxx wasn’t a complete surprise, and I came up empty-handed as expected.


Fact is, everything wears out — tires, appliances, roof, air-conditioning units, bodies and clothes — unless God does a miracle. He has and does! As I drove to work decked out in my favorites this week, I recalled how the Israelites endured 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, but their clothing didn’t wear out.

Yet the LORD says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. (Deuteronomy 29:5)


Yes, it would be boring to wear the same outfit for 40 years, though I assume swapping occurred as children grew and adults shared clothing too. The fact remains, however, that their clothes and sandals miraculously did not wear out.

The greater miracle.

Every morning, the Israelites opened their tent flaps and saw manna on the ground for the taking. The Hebrew word for manna meant “a whatness.” I have heard speakers say it is like the English term “whatchamacallit.” We now know manna was a foretelling of the provision of Jesus, who later revealed He is the Bread of Life: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

We don’t have to wear out.

I spent the drive to work meditating on the reality that as each of us wanders in our various wildernesses, we can experience the same miracles as the Israelites. Like what happened for them, some of the items we own may last longer than predicted, and like them, every day we have access to the Bread of Life and are handed an invitation to take all that we need.

Just to make sure I am not presenting myself in a dishonest light, this week I did not collect my manna each morning. I did not make the decision to exit my tent (get up at a good time and go to a place where I can concentrate) and hand Jesus the scattered pieces of my life so He could take the heavy yoke off my shoulders and I could wear His light one (Matthew 11:30). My soul started to dry up, things started to build up, and overreactions occurred. But thankfully, the manna was there this morning, as it always is. Our Jesus.

Are you wandering in a 40-year wilderness?

  • A difficult marriage
  • Chronic pain
  • A broken relationship
  • Continual financial issues
  • Being a caretaker for someone
  • Joblessness
  • Medical bills
  • Parenting
  • Incarceration

Some of you just checked off several of these 40-year wilderness options. Each may have already lasted 40, or some look like they are going to last that long apart from a miracle of God. Let’s resist the temptation to hunker down and huddle-up in our tents in isolation from our Creator. Like the Israelites, we have the privilege of opening the tent flap each morning to gather as much manna (Jesus) as we need each day for sustenance.

Always enough.

Let’s not forget, though manna was symbolic, it was also real food! For my friends in Turkey dealing with the devastating aftermath of the earthquake; for my brothers and sisters in the Ukraine (and Russia) grabbing any food they can find; for those who are incarcerated and eating whatever they are given (sometimes sub par) and living out a decades-long sentence; I have two comments:

1. I currently believe when we bow our heads over any food He has provided when we are in need, and ask God to bless it to our bodies, He does. Miracles happen when food is received from God and then blessed.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (Luke 9:16-17)

2. Jesus (manna) is available to us each morning before the sun comes up.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 9:22-24)

If we don’t grab all we need from Him, we will go hungry at the soul-level that day. Every time the sun rises, however, we have the opportunity to gather the mercies of Jesus and remain close to Him through the day.

God may keep us wandering in a 40-year wilderness, but we will also see miracles.

Picture Explanation: Our family has been the recipient of meals dropped off in a cooler by our front door for the last few weeks. What a blessing it has been to be relieved of the mental and emotional stress of shopping and meal preparation. We have also bowed our heads and received each offering with gratitude and trust in God’s full provision.

We have also learned my husband should not have been in any of these pictures. A miracle was happening that we could not see. Hug your people. Expect miracles today.

I mentioned this concept of daily manna in a post way back in 2014 HERE if you are interested.

Speaking of living with day-to-day with Jesus:

An online study starts April 4. If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study in 2023, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email. There are plans for an evening online study April 4-May 9. There are also plans for a face-to-face study this summer starting June 7. Let’s focus on things that count for eternity!

© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

6 Responses

  1. Wow Laurie,

    You hit it out of the park again! I would like to reiterate a quote from you:“By God’s grace alone, each of us can contribute to the collective body of Christ as we live our individual lives.”

    “If we don’t grab all we need from Him, we will go hungry at the soul-level that day” and we will be “unable to contribute.”

    Your words encapsulate in one sentence what I have tried to convey to those that are “spiritually depleted.” The last two decades I can prove and validate it is true.

    PS…I loved and can relate to the favorite shoes and pants…it has happened several times to me…especially the ones from TJ Maxx.

    Thank you for making my day!

    Happy Trails and Happy Trials❣️

    1. I am ever more convinced it’s the heart work that matters, and so rarely talked about. It is becoming a thread in my posts lately. I can see it. The world give us so many helps — especially in a wealthy society — to use our time productively and get things done without God (Apple watches, cars that work, internet, medical care). What a lure, but that is not where the power comes from. It’s the in the quiet place where we give God the day and we give Him ourselves for the day.

      Thanks for being out there. I never know what is going to come out of my fingers each Thursday. I am glad it blesses you.


  2. Hi, Friend. Thanks for this post. I have felt overwhelmed lately. Church was good yesterday and helped me to remember that God can, does, and will provide. What little faith I can have! I love your imagery of getting out of the tent. That is a step of faith when we get lazy, but it is the path to LIFE!

    1. Thanks for letting me know you too are feeling overwhelmed lately — so much to do and so many to care about. I get it the push to get going on the to-do list or stay in the tent! Prayers are coming your way today.

  3. The difference of lifting a tent flap: a sun stream, manna enough for the day, grace sufficient for whatever that day brings. I claim the latter two daily!
    Thankful with you for so many miracles along the way!!

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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