That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent. – Exodus 16:13-16 NIV
Dew is an interesting form of water. It does not possess the reassuring pitterpatter of rain drops on a roof, the fearsome thunder of a desert flash flood, or the awesome energy of a crashing wave at the beach. It quietly coats everything with tiny droplets. It appears overnight and does so without the drama or fanfare of a thunderstorm.
In the Atacama desert of the Andes mountains of South America there are several plants that have tiny hairs which collect the dew and allow the plant to survive in an otherwise inhospitable desert. God is providing “bread from heaven” for the Israelites in a quiet, very subtle and permeating way. The food provided through the dew was not what the Israelites expected (“what is it?”), yet it was what they needed to survive the desert.
I think God often intervenes in our lives more like dew than a crashing wave or a thunderstorm. There is a song I really like by Steven Curtis Chapman called “Waiting For Lightning” in it he has these lyrics:
How do we make sure we listen to God’s whisper and catch the dew? Maybe we need to develop “tiny hairs” like the plants in the Atacama desert to collect the subtle dew and “bread from heaven” that God provides. What do these “tiny” spiritual hairs look like? Maybe they are a bit like the whiskers on our cat Meryl. They stick out, are really sensitive, and keep us from sticking our head, body, and spirit into dangerous places :)…Oh and they also catch the dew if we are very still and attentive.
Prayer: God enable me to become proficient at recognizing and collecting the dew and “bread of heaven” that you provide for us.SDG