Then the Lord said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!” (Numbers 11:23)
Relate: For a good couple years, a lifetime for a young boy, my favorite toy was this G I Joe boat I got for Christmas. The gift was a shock and a surprise. It wasn’t what I asked for but rather something far bigger and more expensive. Every year my parents would give my sister and I a JC Penny catalog and we would go through the toys section and write out our Christmas list. I would write out a page or two worth of stuff and a couple of those items would somehow manage to find their way into boxes under the tree at Christmastime. To this day I can’t figure out how my parents managed to forward that list on to Santa. Maybe because I’m single and don’t have my own kids nobody let me in on the secret. Either way, somewhere along that line there was a clerical error. When I wrote that list, I would go for the smaller gifts. I figured Santa must be on a limited budget and so I could either get 4-5 smaller things or 1-2 bigger. I chose quantity over quality. So when I wrote out my Christmas list, it included the Cobra Hydro Sled. (Left) What I ended up getting was the Cobra Hydrofoil. (Right) The blessing far exceeded my expectations.
The Israelites were complaining. Again. Every morning God was blessing them in a way that beggars imagination. Before the sun would rise, the morning dew would thicken and harden into an yellowish substance that tasted like coriander seed. I’m not sure what coriander seed tastes like, but how cool would it be to go out in the morning, rub my fingers through the grass, and lick them to get taste of whole grain toast for breakfast? Miraculous. But so frequent it became mundane and taken for granted. “Every. Single. Morning we end up gathering this… this… stuff for our daily bread and it is all we ever get to eat. Where’s the beef?” So God says, “You want meat? I’ll give you meat. I’ll give you so much meat in one day you will be eating it for a month. Choke on that.”
How much quail? In the book Circle Maker Mark Batterson writes:
The Israelites were parked in the wilderness of Paran, a region about fifty miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea and fifty miles southwest of the Dead Sea. The significance of that is this: quail tend to live by the water and they don’t fly long distances. If it weren’t for a supernatural west wind, they would have never made it this far inland. So this is a meteorological miracle. And it’s not just a miraculous west wind. The clouds burst and rained quail from the sky…
Once the quail stopped falling, the Israelites started gathering. Each Israelite gathered no less than ten homers. Ten homers multiplied by six hundred thousand men equals six million homers at a minimum. A homer equated to roughly 200 liters, and assuming that the quail were of an average size, it rained somewhere in the neighborhood of one hundred and five million quail. You read that right: One hundred and five million quail. God doesn’t just provide in dramatic fashion. God provides in dramatic proportion.
React: I pray too small. Sometimes when I bring my requests before God, I am still like that little boy making a faithless Christmas list. I keep my expectations low because I am afraid of being disappointed. I keep them low because I forget how big my God is. I forget the things He has already done, the miracles He is continuing to pour out, and the blessings He has promised if only I would ask.
So what is my big ask. If my faith was as big as my imagination. If I were to come before God with the boldness and audacity He desires me to bring, what would I say? What is my dream? What is yours?
God, give me the courage to dream bigger. Your arm is not too small. You are not too weak. I know this. I know that I know it, but all too often my ask is too small. You know where I am going. You know what I am doing. As I enter a whole new world, set it ablaze. Let Your strong, powerful arm not just keep me and protect me. Let it bring the abundance, the victory, I can’t even dare to imagine.