On this extra day in the year, I am reminded of the graces I recieve every single day, without really thinking about them. 

In the Old Testament, during the desert crossing, the Israelites had daily provisions from God on the ground every morning. (WP) In the description in the Book of Exodus chapter 16, manna is described as being "a fine, flake-like thing" like the frost on the ground. (v14) It is also described in the Book of Numbers as arriving with the dew during the night. 

The Israelites were instructed to eat only the manna they had gathered for each day. Leftovers or manna stored up for the following day "bred worms and stank" (v20): the exception being the day before Shabbat (Preparation Day), when twice the amount of manna was gathered, which did not spoil overnight; because, (v23-24) "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.' "So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it."

When I wake up every morning, a whole list of graces are staring right at me as well (Lam 3:23), and all too often I revert to being exactly like the Israelite of old. I think of the problems ahead. I count the things to do. I become scared of potentially damaging (unrealistic) scenarios. I remember my forgiven failings. I recall how others have hurt me. I focus on what I am missing in life and what I think I deserve.

So here's the reminder to myself: look down at the renewed manna, and look up at the Provider. I should be thankful for the breath I take, for the food in my fridge, for the water in my tap, for the clothes on my body, for the roof over my head, for the money in my pocket, for the mobility I have, for the ideas in my mind, for the love that surrounds me, for the smiles on my loved ones faces and most of all for the salvation of my soul and the peace that surpasses my understanding. 

Look at Grace. It is right there. Delight in it. Relish it. Depend on it. Share it. Live it.
 

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