It’s exciting when I stop long enough, and stay long enough, to hear what God is trying to tell me. Isn’t that’s the joy of abiding in Christ? Well, I was reading another chapter in “Abide in Christ” by Andrew Murray and felt God’s strong encouragement.
In the chapter, Murray referred to Exodus 16:4 and the collection of manna by the people.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.
He writes, “The day’s portion in its day: such was the rule for God’s giving and man’s working in the ingathering of the manna. It is still the law in all the dealings of God’s grace with His children.”
Murray then shares a story about a doctor who was asked by a patient who was just in a serious accident. The patient asked the doctor how long would he have to lie in bed. To which the doctor replied, “Only a day at a time.” Only a day at a time. Recently I have asked God a number of times, “Father, how long do I have to go on itching with this eczema?” I thought, a few day? A week? A month? Forever? But God’s answer is, “Only a day at a time. Mark, just think a day at a time. Only a day at a time. You can definitely do that, my son.” I must confess that it was quite the revelation! Do I have enough grace to endure for just one day? Yes! Can I ask God for the grace to endure for just another day? Yes! All of a sudden, I was filled with encouragement. I have enough for the day. God gives me the grace to make it through a day. I get discouraged when I don’t see an end. I get frustrated when I don’t know how long something will go on.
Yes, it goes back to my impatience. I know. It’s just like with movies. I am a weirdo when it comes to movies. One of the first, if not the first question I ask is, “How long is the movie, anyway?” If it’s in the Lord of the Rings time category, forget it! Or I will watch it on DVD so I can do other things while I watch a movie that is longer than 2 hours. Yes, I’m weird that way. But that carries over to other areas of my life. How long will this eczema flare up last? How long will this head cold last? How long is this going to take? Even in my abiding in Christ, staying in Him, remaining in Him.
But do I have grace enough for the day? That’s encouraging to me. Murray goes on to write, “The morning manna fed all the day; it is only when the believer in the morning secures his quiet time in secret to renew distinctly and effectually loving fellowship with his Savior, that the abiding can be kept up al the day.” That is a good picture for me. So I have begun to spend time with God in the morning, with the picture of collecting “manna” for my day. I’ve begun to ask God for grace enough for the day. I then I go out with excitement to experience that grace enough for the day. I have just begun to do this with this new perspective. But I am excited and encouraged. And I hope to experience what Murray then writes, “The blessed abiding grasped by faith for each day apart is an unceasing and ever increasing growth. Each day of faithfulness brings a blessing for the next, makes both the trust and the surrender easier and more blessed. And so the Christian life grows: as we give our whole heart to the work of each day, it becomes all the day from that every day. And so each day separately, all the day continually, day by day successively, we abide in Jesus.”
So thank you Father for another practical step. And thank you for Andrew Murray. Another step. Just enough for day!