Ask a veteran or an active duty soldier or Marine. Ask them what MRE’s are. Some would tell you “Meals Ready to Eat” – a lot would say “Meals Rejected by Everybody.” If you know a veteran old enough, he could tell you about K or C-rations. Improvements have been made since the Civil War when soldiers might carry hardtack and salt pork. Some soldiers joked that the hard crackers could stop a bullet. But providing nutritious food that would not turn the stomach has always been a challenge. These days, vacuum-sealed pouches contain a wide variety of foods, but bland is bland. If you checked the equipment and supplies a typical soldier would carry, you probably will find a bottle of Tabasco to either add some flavor or kill the taste.
Complaining has been around a long time – probably since Adam complained that Eve got the apple first. The people of Israel complained as they were escaping the bondage of Egypt. Don’t get them started on having to eat manna and quail. They moaned and whined – “It’s too hot.”
“There’s no water.” “How long until we get there?” Their gripes sank to the outrageous “We would be better off back in Egypt” whimper.
While MRE’s would never be compared to culinary delights, those rations weren’t designed to please the palate. They were created to be nutritious and energy-producing in eat-on-the-march conditions. The meal was never as important as the mission.
The manna God provided for the Israelites would only last a day. That required the people to trust God to provide for them every day. He had promised to deliver them. With the memory of their miraculous rescue from the clutches of Pharaoh, you would think trust would come easy. Does trust come easy to us?
God promised to deliver us. An empty cross and an empty tomb prove His power. He has promised to guide, bless, provide, correct, sustain, and redeem us. He asked us to seek Him every day. He asks us to trust Him. Does trust come easy to us?
We, too, need to remember that the mission is more rimportant than the meal. We are a part of a great adventure He has invited us to join. Perhaps our MRE should stand for “Mission Ready to Engage.”