Some time ago one morning, on my way to work and feeling weary after yet another sleepless night, I asked God to present an opportunity for me to shine His light at the job-site...to offer hope and encouragement to someone. I was trying to focus on His kingdom, rather than my dire circumstances which preoccupied my thoughts. Obviously, I was the one in need of His presence.
I had been struggling a lot lately. Despite trying not to worry and submitting my requests to God in order to receive the peace that surpasses all understanding; trying to focus on today because tomorrow has enough troubles of its own; casting my cares on Him because He cares for me; being still and knowing he is in control, etc., my frustration increased.
This particular month, my wall calendar contained a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. "There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." Initially, this sounds very profound. But I have to realize this is the same man who, at best, heralded Jesus as merely another prophet. When people are hungry, and Jesus shows up, He is indeed the bread.
I wondered at the continued presence of frustration as I recited God's promises through my mind. I believe there are times when God actually sends a spirit of frustration to ensure we reach our rope's end. After all, real belief occurs when we begin to trust God regardless of our circumstances; beyond simply claiming His promises while striving to work out the situation ourselves.
When we're so deep into the darkness of our troubles, it can seem like a place of fatal hopelessness. But at just the right time, every now and then, God sends a comforting angel; sometimes in the form of someone we know, but have simply taken for granted. It was just a few days later, this cloud still hanging over my head, that someone I knew sneaked up behind me and gave me a big ol' heavenly hug...out of nowhere! Don't I know God just embraced me! I was so hungry...and He appeared to me in the form of bread I was needing.
The body of Christ brings the presence of Jesus when we need him the most. A burdened heart can glorify God even in the storm, to the credit of those who make themselves available to Him. My prayer is that you would make yourself more available to God, that He may cause you to show up in the form of manna for the hungry people in your life. Let's empty ourselves of ourselves and be led of Him, so that we can shine our light in the darkness; carrying hope to those who feel hopeless, and love to those who feel unloved; and perhaps, should the circumstance dictate, a loaf of bread.
"Yet he commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven,
and he rained down on them manna to eat
and gave them the grain of heaven.
Man ate of the bread of the angels;
he sent them food in abundance."