Here’s a little story. I went to the store. I looked for toilet paper. The shelves were empty. I saw the shelf-stocker with a pallet full of boxes, NOT containing TP. I asked him if the store gets resupplied with TP every day or if the supply chain has broken down. “Every day he said.” and even though the signs on the shelves say “Take only 5 or less,” by the time he reports to work the next day the store’s TP shelves are empty again.
Here’s another story. Long ago the Israelites were delivered by God from slavery in Egypt. Their escape route took them right into the wilderness. After a few weeks of running, after the celebration of their exodus from their Egyptian slave masters, they were out of food and water. Their cupboards were empty. God saw their dilemma and provided water and food, “Enough for every day,” he might have said.
Every day the Israelites gathered the manna and quail that God provided. Every day they worked to gather a day’s worth of provisions (or two if the next day was the sabbath). Not three days or three weeks worth. Daily needs. Daily bread. Enough for everyone, every day. And when the daily sun warmed things up out in the wilderness, the manna evaporated and the quail stayed away, until the next day. The shelves were empty, but people’s cupboards were full. Day after day, week after week, year after year God provided in this way. God was in it for the long haul. He took care of his people.
As for the TP and other empty shelves at my store… Since, my grocery shopping routine is more on a weekly rather than daily basis, I haven’t been back to see if the demand for TP has abated. I expect that I’ll be back again next week to get what’s needed in my house for the week ahead. I’m just trying to stay normal in these rather abnormal times.
Even though I may have to do without some things and limit what I do because of some microscopic pathogen. I’m just trying to remember who it is that provides, has provided, will provide ‘daily bread’ for me and the ones I love. I know that God is in it for the long haul, eternally long, really. And that is today’s gift and, of course, daily bread.