Thursday, December 16, 2010

Simple Gifts

[From 12/15/10]

"40 years you sustained them in the wilderness so that they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell."
(Nehemiah 9:21)

Ezra is recounting God's saving history - from the beginning of creation to the present.  When he gets to the Exodus story he makes an interesting insight.  Most recall the plagues, crossing the Red Sea, the pillars of fire & cloud, and manna.  But Ezra adds one more blessing: "their clothes didn't wear out and their feet didn't swell."  What an odd thing to say.  Why even mention it?

My wife tells me how frustrating (and painful!) it is when her feet swell (on airplanes or after a long day's work).  All she wants to do is kick off her shoes and get a foot massage.  With all the wandering the Israelites did in the wilderness (40 years worth!), it should have led to much "feet swelling."  But it didn't.  God gave them a simple gift.

We have 24-hour stores like Wal-Mart today, should we ever need something.  We order off the internet anytime we feel like it.  We shop the "after-Christmas sales."  It's no big deal when our clothes wear out.  The same thing could not be said for the Israelites in the wilderness.  God's simple gift of clothes that didn't need replacing was a gift of grace!

What "simple gifts" have God given you lately that you need to give thanks for?

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