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Dear Partner,

I would like to continue this month with the series of teachings I call, "Lessons From The Manna." For forty years in the wilderness, God fed Israel with manna. "He chose to provide for them in that manner so they would learn that "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." (Deut 8:3) The Lord also said that He used that time period to instruct and teach Israel in the same manner that a father instructs and teaches his beloved son:

Deu 8:5  Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

When this passage is quoted by the writer of Hebrews in the New Testament, he uses the Greek word "paideai" for "chaseneth" which means: tutorage, training, instruction, nurturing.

God is being a Father to Israel and is using this time in the wilderness to tutor them so they will know Him better. What an ideal time for God to teach them. They are in a wilderness of desert sand where rain seldom, if ever, falls. There is no way the ground will grow crops even if they had seed to plant. Also, they are to follow the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. At a moment's notice, they may have to break camp and move to a new location. There is no way they could expect to stay in a single geographical location long enough to harvest a crop even if the ground would produce one. I could go on and on describing the bleak circumstances but I think this is enough for us to conclude: Israel's situation was pretty hopeless in the natural. There was no chance of survival in that wilderness without the supernatural intervention of God. God does not waste this opportunity to teach them about His own nature so they will learn to trust Him later when they go to war to possess the Promised Land.

Think about Israel in that situation. Think of the mothers and fathers who had small children in their families. They loved their children just like we love our children. When they saw that they were going to have to live in that barren wilderness they had to wonder, "How will our children survive? There is nothing to eat. There is no water. There is no way for us to grow any crops. The food we brought with us out of Egypt will soon be gone. This is impossible." What do you think? Did they have opportunity at that moment to begin doubting God's love and His faithfulness? Don't you know fear did its best to grip their hearts?

Now think about the first morning when the manna appeared like dew in the desert. In all of history nothing like that had ever happened before. It was bread from heaven. The bible tells us it was small, white and round having the taste of wafers made with honey. It was the finished product bread! In all of history man had never eaten bread without first sowing seed, tending the ground during the growth period, harvesting the grain, separating the wheat from the chaff, then forming loaves to be baked in an oven. God bypassed all of that process and gave them the finished product bread that tasted sweet in the mouth like honey. What was the lesson God wanted them to learn?

"You can trust Me! I am your Provider! There is no need to fear. There is no need to be afraid even when all of the circumstances around you look impossible. There is no need to fear when you have no seed to sow. Learn to trust every Word that comes out of My mouth! What I say I do! I cannot lie! If you need something that is not available in the natural (like bread), My Word will produce it for you! Learn to doubt your fears and to trust My Word instead!"

Is any of this sounding familiar to you? Have you ever been in a situation where the circumstances looked impossible? I know I have. I remember the time the doctors diagnosed me with terminal cancer and gave me only six months to live in 1990. I was only in my forties at the time, yet it "appeared" that my life was soon to be over. The doctor had no choice but to give me his expert diagnosis based on the facts he was faced with. Everything he said to me was factual. You talk about facing a "wilderness" based on the facts!

You should have "heard" the "silence" in the car as Sue and I drove home from the doctor's office. It was the silence of desperation. We were stunned! It seemed like death was certain, and immediate, with no way out. Fear was already painting images in my mind of me in a coffin. I was already wondering, "What about our children? What about Sue? How will they live? Who will provide for them?" I felt like I was in a wilderness with no hope of anything but a swift and certain death.

But Sue remembered something the Lord had spoken in prophecy to us way back in 1986 when we were first ordained as ministers of the gospel. The young couple who laid hands on us and prayed for us at that ordination had fasted and prayed for days before the service. The last words that they spoke over me in prophecy was, "...it is a glorious end that I have in store for you, My child, so rejoice." As soon as Sue remembered and spoke those words, HOPE leaped back into my bosom! Dying of cancer in my forties would most certainly NOT be a glorious end. In spite of all the impossible circumstances we were facing, we had the WORD of the Lord and we chose to doubt out fears and to trust His Word to us instead. It is now the year 2005 as I write this letter. From 1990 to 2005 How's that for a long six months? Hallelujah!

Learn to doubt fears that are based on circumstances. Trust the Word of the Lord instead. There is no need to fear! God is our Father. He is fully deserving of our trust. We live by His Word!

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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