This probably should've been Derek Hunter's post, but I'm stealing it!
DH and DW and I got to attend a preaching seminar at Trevecca last week. Thom Long (a fabulous preaching professor at a big deal seminary, with a lot of credentials behind his name) was the speaker for the day. I don't think any of us had heard him speak before (shame on us), but Mark was excited about going (Baby Peter messed up his plans, but I don't think he minded) so we were looking forward to it. We just didn't know what we were getting in to, would it be boring and too academic, lots of theological rhetoric? We were pleasantly surprised . . .
Have you ever seen someone who is doing exactly what they were made to do? I don't just mean "churchy" stuff . . .I mean David Phelps singing (okay, so that one's churchy most of the time), Michael Phelps swimming, or Lauren Garrow Clement talking about hair design? (I know that seems random, but I heard Lauren talking to a customer in her shop one day, and I thought "That is totally her sweet spot!")
Anyway, Thom Long was amazing! We were immediately entranced by his natural style that was so good and rich, yet not at all initimidating. His eyes light up when he speaks and he honestly looks 10 years younger when he's on the teaching about preaching- his sweet spot. I know this up close because we got to sit at his table at dinner. He was so kind and warm to all of us there. Very engaging (even after teaching all day!).
So (the point of this blog), in the course of dinner, Derek Hunter talked about the fact that he didn't grow up in church with all of the Sunday School stories and he felt a little behind the 8 ball in his sermon prep sometimes because of that. He wanted Dr. Long's thoughts on resources (Derek is an avid reader and learner.) Dr Long made several suggestions, then added that as you do your sermon preparation and take that down all of the roads it leads you, "It will be manna". It will be enough.
What a beautiful word picture! How refreshing and filling and satisfying to my soul. (He wasn't even talking to me! But truth is truth!) As we turn to God, he gives us enough. Whether we need encouragement, or wisdom, or learning, or grace; when God sends it, it is enough! It is manna!
When the Israelites weren't satisfied with their manna, God sent them a lot of "blessing" at one time and it became something loathesome to them. The same would be true for us. God gives us what we need as we need it. We must not whine and wail about life being better in "Egypt", but we have to lean hard on God knowing that he cares for us completely. Even when we can't understand why things happen (I had a with God about that myself this morning), we have to keep on trusting and keep on walking. God's mercies are new every morning and that is manna!