Baby Bear got it just right. Although this fuzzy creature from the fairy tale “Goldilocks” is not a biblical hero, there is something spiritual to be associated with the median lifestyle of this character.
Baby Bear’s porridge was neither too hot nor too cold--it was a perfect medium temperature for consumption. His bed was neither too hard nor too soft--it had a balanced firm/plush mattress.
I thought of these childhood images as I read the following verses in Proverbs:
”. . . Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” (Proverbs 30:8-9 TLB)
Life in the middle with God . . . not too rich--not too poor . . . just right.
If we have all of our wants in this life, we can proudly become independent and feel as though we don’t need God. (Because if I already have everything I desire, what do I need God for?)
If we do not have our basic needs, we might independently take matters into our own hands and create personal measures of justice. (Because if I don’t take care of me, who will?)
Both of these mindsets lead to a self-sufficient life that is void of God. Instead, we are taught to live in the middle with manna.
Manna was the sweet-flakey-frosty-food substance that the Israelites supernaturally received from the Lord each day (for forty years!) while living in the desert.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.’ ”(Exodus 16:4 NIV)
The Israelite's were tested with this provision. They were instructed to get what they needed . . . not too much--not too little . . . just the right amount each day.
The lesson we can glean today from their gathering in the past is this: God wants us to remain dependent on Him for our daily bread.
Jesus reinforced this practice when He taught us to pray:
“Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11 NIV)
Manna still matters! This is the pace of life that we are instructed to live.
Not having everything this moment--Not needing everything this moment.
Lord, help me not to fall slowly behind while neglecting Your plans. Also, help me not to get swiftly ahead of Your will by trying to direct You from the front. Instead, keep me just right in the middle . . . nourished by the daily bread that You so faithfully and lovingly provide. Amen.