[image: Robin, 2014, JA Van Devender]
Exodus 16:19 (NKJV)
19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.”
This little guy demonstrated a far more indignant than fearful demeanor when he flew right up to the fence, not three feet from where I stood. I had decided to take a few more images of "snow" in the most recent blanketing, and as I stood there, my tennis shoe clad feet rapidly turning to ice in the eight inches deep stuff, he fluttered up and glared at me. Obviously I was shirking my duties, the usual raisins were nowhere to be seen and they couldn't be just cast into the snow since there was no hard crust, so why in the world was I goofing off with a camera rather than clearing a table and feeding him his breakfast. Oh, the indignity of it all. Good help is so hard to find these days.
Suitably admonished, I cleared off a garbage can, inverted the lid, humbly went inside and brought out the raisins, the peanuts and (yes, my wife actually does this) the scrambled eggs for the Carolina Wrens. By the time I returned with the supplies, the fence was littered with waiting birds and a few squirrels were peeking around the tree trunks.
Then the drama began. I put out the goodies and went inside to warm my feet and watched through the sliding glass door. This stupid robin immediately plopped down on the lid, quickly snatched up a few raisins and then spent the next five minutes fighting off every other bird that tried to get a bite also.
Basically, putting human thought processes as a perspective, it was almost as if his reasoning was this: "The guy gave me food today, albeit much more tardily than I require, but there is no guarantee that he will do so tomorrow... and therefore it is in my best interest to preserve this food for myself... fight off all comers and thereby live to sing another day." I thought to myself, "what a brat! Here I did all this for you and this is how you show your gratitude? It's not as if you haven't had raisins put out for you virtually every day for years, primarily by my wife, but it was there. Why don't you eat your fill and then contentedly trust that there's more where that came from and it will be delivered, in due time?"
It is not a far remove to compare this with the lesson taught the Israelites in their journey to the Promised Land. God made it very clear... every day except the one before the Sabbath... gather up what you want, as much as you want, of the food I provide... but do not let it sit past the scheduled date. Don't "save some for tomorrow." The whole purpose of this execise, of My direct immediate provision for you, is that you are to pray that I give you your "daily bread," sufficient and when needed. If I brought Egypt to its knees, humbled Pharaoh in your sight, gave you water when you thirsted, put a pillar of smoke before you in the day and a column of fire before you at night to ensure that you did not lose your way, DO YOU THINK I WILL NOT FEED YOU WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY!!!"
Bill Cosby once called Adam and Eve God's "brain dead children" and so the record of God's dealings with His chosen people, Old and New Testament, amply prove that such a label is apt. In the present instance it is proof of God's restraint that He did not go ahead and call us "twits" in the instance.
Of course some of the Israelites, much to Mose's and God's disgust, tried to squirrel some of the manna away... it did not turn out well for them, as you would expect. Jesus tells the story of a man who burned up his youth hoarding up money and then one day said... OK... now I am going to retire and take it easy. I have all that I need to relax and feast every day for years. Jesus described God as saying "You fool, this very night your soul will be required of you." The man didn't last the night and all that money did not do him a bit of good.
The point of that parable and, indirectly, of the historical lesson of the Israelites, is that the time we have on this earth is to be better spent than simply being devoted to "saving up for the future." It is the present that is God's gift to us... the now of this life... the moment that our heart beats and breath enters our lungs. And God's intention is that we invest this moment, which is all we have, with as much value added good as we can get.
Yes, I know the proverb of the ant and the grasshopper, and God's word teaching about diligence of work and providing for our families and how we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves... in other words, we are to prepare for tommorrow as God provides for us to provide for it, but we are not to be obsessed with it. God will be the same tomorrow as He is today and we can trust Him with it. In fact, that's all we can really do because God and God alone knows what tomorrow will bring.
What God does not want to see in us is what I saw in that robin. He does not want to see us hoarding up His bounty as a sign, or an indicator, that at root we really don't trust Him very much. Nor does He want to see us fighting and scratching and arrogantly keeping for ourselves the present blessing which is set before us.
There is a time for storing up and there is a time for sharing. Recognizing and distinguishing those times calls for discernment and wisdom, both of which our Lord Himself promises to provide.
Stop fighting and get back to singing... that's what delights God and man... that's what you were designed to do... let that be the goal of the moment God gives you and He will prove Himself faithful in the future that is not yours to decide.