It was already the middle of the morning before I noticed it. Something outside of our dining room window caught my eye and I looked out into our sunny yard. Like huge snowflakes I watched the bits of tree pollen float softly and lazily in the air before resigning to gravity and landing on the grass. Tufts of pollen were clinging to the green blades while more continued to fall with every breeze. I felt like going outside and letting it fall on my head and clothes just to imagine for a moment how the Israelites felt when they saw God’s provision for their needs.
The sight of the pollen drifting to the ground brought me so many years back to the farm where I grew up with my 14 other siblings. My younger sister was closest to me so we would often play together when there weren’t any chores to be done. We had some favorite play areas like the rock pile, behind the garage, or beside our slough. It was on late spring days when we would walk around the farm yard and gather the pollen that had fallen to the ground or clung to the wild rosebushes. Some days it was wool for making yarn but that was always short-lived since the fibers never stuck together like they should have. Other days it was manna from Heaven sent down to be our daily provision.
It wasn’t a great stretch of my imagination to think that God could provide for our family in this way. Being farmers we often saw manna in the big black garbage bags full of handed down clothing or the dozens of whitefish that the nearby reservation Indians would bring to us in exchange for fuel. It was God’s way of reassuring us that He was looking after us.
Seeing the manna isn’t always easy, however, and sometimes we have found it where we weren’t looking for it. In the past it has been in odd jobs that an elderly church friend would offer to Bill for cash, banana boxes brimming over with groceries designated for our family without our knowledge, or even a terrible rollover which totaled off our truck but provided the right amount of insurance money to provide for some urgent needs and to buy a van outright. This week, however, we found the manna in a few checkbook register mistakes and more money in the bank than we originally thought.
Today it is raining so I won’t see any pollen sinking down through the air onto our lawn but I have learned from it. But maybe I'll stand out in the rain anyway and let the gentle drops remind me that God will provide for all we need. "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!” Luke 12:27, 28