Kirsten Panachyda

Writer and Speaker

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Rest Day Party

Feast during Rest

The first time, they didn’t believe it. They tried to stock up on what they thought they’d need. They must have been afraid as well as disgusted the next morning when instead of breakfast, they found slime and maggots. God had told the Israelites He would feed them, day by day. But they didn’t trust the next day’s provision. They gathered extra and stashed it away for the next day, in case He didn’t come through for them. He spent the next forty years teaching them to trust and obey.

Trying to live on yesterday’s strength is like trying to live on yesterday’s manna. We need to access God’s power every day, for that day’s struggle. Except, except…

There was one day of the week when the manna stayed fresh overnight: the rest day. I wonder if that day made them afraid too. No new manna on the ground- what did it mean? What about when the extra was used up? Would there be more after the rest day?

Sometimes we also are given a rest day from the struggle with our kid’s mental illness. Sometimes even a whole rest season comes our way. Can we trust God enough to enjoy it? Can we pull out the stash of strength God provided in the “working days” and feast on His goodness? The storehouse of memory becomes the making of rejoicing, a party. The celebration requires that we believe, from the witness of our memory, that strength will be provided again when we need it.

I have a litany from my memory storehouse that I rehearse when I start to fear that I can’t make it through another crisis again:

• God sent people with encouragement, empathetic tears, or information at just the right times.
• God provided Scriptures and the presence of Holy Spirit.
• I discovered that even the path through the valley of the shadow of death is holy ground, because my Shepherd is with me.

The same God who walked us through the past nightmares will walk us through anything coming in the future. Fresh manna will always appear until we are safe in the Promised Land.

Friends, I hope if you are in the “working days” and you are weary, that you will find your manna for the day. I pray that you will soon have a rest day.

When you do, party on.

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