Have you had any manna lately, Dear Reader? Have you ever wondered about the value of manna?
In December I was reading about manna in the Book of Exodus. A few days later, I shared a divine appointment with a former colleague.
At the crowded, self-check kiosks in Walmart, God showed up with manna. It made me stop and think about the inherent value of manna, those unexpected gifts from heaven at just the right time.
From the other side of the self-check area I briefly caught a glimpse of Debbie. Her face lit up as soon as she noticed me. She took a hesitant step toward me, asking, “Aren’t you Alice?”
In the middle of hugs and laughter, the two of us being in the same place at the same time became manna from heaven.
After twenty years apart, my admiration of Debbie’s faith, and her cheerful and generous spirit washed over me like spring rain. God used this steadfast child of His to bless us both in only a few minutes and a few words.
Manna from heaven, an unexpected blessing . . . blessing I wanted to learn more about.
The Backstory of Manna.
And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
Exodus 16:14-15 RSV
Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
Exodus 16:31 RSV
What's the Actual Value of Manna?
Dear Reader, did you know manna is still around? Manna is harvested in and sold near the Mediterrean. That’s good news and bad news for trendy restaurants looking for the next big fad. It’s flavor and uses make it desirable, but trade sanctions have made it crazy expensive.
Chef Tod Grey of the Museum of the Bible restaurant, Manna, shared that he has paid as much as $325 for one pound of authentic manna. At that price he considers it the “finishing spice” for his Mediterrean dishes.
Aside from its inordinately expensive cost, what’s the nutritional value of manna? While Chef Grey uses it as a spice, manna has also been used in cocktails, even for cosmetic treatments, and frequently by bakers.
Recipes for manna bread abound, with most having similar nutritional values, zero cholesterol, high protein count, with complex-carbohydrates, and fiber. Mix it up with a slightly sweet taste and low calories for what does indeed sound like “nectar from heaven.”
What do a “chance encounter” at Walmart, an Old Testament miracle, and trendy cuisine have in common, Dear Reader? Simple. The Lord knows exactly the encouragement you need, and when you need it. It’s manna from heaven.
Spiritual manna is God showing us He wants to be an integral part of our journeys. Next time you find yourself in a divine appointment, receive an unexpected text or gift, don’t ask, “What is it?” Just allow your heart to be nourished by the sweet manna the Lord provides for you in that sacred moment.