When the COVID-19 pandemic ends and we think back to 2020, one of the first things we’ll remember is how it was impossible to find toilet paper on the store shelves. People arrive early and buy it up, leaving none for anyone else. And it’s not just toilet paper; frozen vegetables and canned goods, baking supplies, and even bread are being hoarded.
Do you remember in Exodus, when God sent manna every morning for the Israelites to gather and make into cakes? They were instructed to eat only the manna they had gathered for each day. Those who didn’t follow that instruction discovered, as Exodus 16:24 tells us, that stored manna “bred worms and stank.” There was one exception: manna stored the day before the Sabbath (when twice the amount of manna was gathered) did not spoil overnight.
This tells us two things:
- God will provide what we need
- We are not to take more than we need. That is showing that we don’t trust God to provide.
There is a thin line between selfish hoarding of supplies and being prepared for an emergency. A couple of extra packs of toilet paper is preparedness. An extra bag of vegetables to put in the freezer. A few more tins of food for the pantry.
But when you buy so much that your home’s storage areas can’t contain it, it’s time to look at the stash of toilet paper in your living room and examine how much you truly trust God will provide. Until this crisis, we just knew that if we needed toilet paper it would be as near as our local store.
It’s the same with rent and mortgage payments, debt repayments and groceries. God wants us to feed our families and put food on the table. He wants us to honour our obligations. And He will provide the way to do it, even long after COVID -19 ends.