In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God’s Provision in a Land of Longing – Meredith McDaniel

In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God's Provision in a Land of Longing by Meredith McDaniel
Published by Revell on January 21, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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Although our circumstances vary, we all ache with a longing for something more. We are born with dreams, and some of us even have detailed plans about how to make them happen. Yet we all come to a point in life when we realize that we are not in control. A loved one gets sick, a tragedy occurs, our plans backfire. What we may not realize is that even if we can't depend on our circumstances or even ourselves, there is One who will always provide what we need, just when we need it.

With compassion and enthusiasm, Meredith McDaniel invites you to walk alongside God's people in Exodus as they wake up each morning to manna, God's provision for them in desert places. As she unfolds their story of complete dependence on their Creator, you'll discover through guided journaling how God is providing for you right now, where you are in your own unique story. Along the way, you will develop a comforting awareness that you are seen, guided, protected, and filled by a good God in the person of Jesus.

In In Want + Plenty, licensed professional counselor Meredith McDaniel writes about the Exodus story and about how God provided for the Israelites even when they were impatient, bitter, and didn’t know what to do with their freedom. She compares aspects of their experience to struggles within the modern world, and teaches that even when God does not provide for us the way that we want, He provides “manna” in our wildernesses, remaining present and attuned to our needs even when we can’t see a way forward. She writes with great sensitivity to people who have gone through tragic circumstances, teaching that even though our suffering is real, God’s presence is too, and He provides glimmers of hope and love that can help us endure and keep trusting Him.

In Want + Plenty | Audience and Impact

This book will appeal primarily to women, but McDaniel has experience counseling men as well, and writes in a way that is accessible to anyone, regardless of their background and life experiences. Instead of sharing situational advice and making assumptions about her readers’ needs, McDaniel provides general biblical wisdom that applies to anyone’s circumstances, and she includes guided journaling prompts that help readers explore God’s presence in their stories and their suffering. At times, the parallels that she draws between the Exodus story and modern circumstances can seem contrived, but this book provides a helpful framework for people to apply biblical truth to their own experiences. Whether we are in want or plenty, God’s provision is all around us, and McDaniel encourages people to recognize this through the stories she shares, the song recommendations that she includes, and the reflective questions she asks.

In Want + Plenty | Encouragement for Today

McDaniel’s heart for the hurting is evident throughout this book. She is transparent about her own experiences with grief and loss, shares client stories, and writes in a gentle, caring way to her unknown readers. She encourages people to be honest with God, themselves, and others about how difficult their lives truly are, and writes often about the joys and sustaining benefits of community, providing illustrations of the healing freedom that people can experience when they tell the truth about their struggles and sorrows. Friendship is an important source of manna, and she encourages people to experience God’s presence through the blessings that He provides, even as they walk through hard things. Also, even though this book focuses on the Exodus story, she writes about the story of Christ at the end, showing how he gives us life.

Because this book invites readers on a journey of self-discovery and reflection, people will experience it differently based on the amount of effort that they invest. However, even a casual reader can glean lots of wisdom and feel reassured by McDaniel’s kind, gentle, and encouraging writing and Scriptural teaching. This is also very timely, because even though the COVID-19 shutdown prevents us from enjoying the face-to-face company of friends that she encourages, it also heightens our awareness of how limited and fragile our lives are. Right now, people can no longer ignore their problems through rush, bustle, and the race to success, and have to slow down and face life as it is. McDaniel encourages her readers to be honest about their longings and disappointments, and her message of finding grace and provision in the midst of disruptive life circumstances will encourage people who are struggling right now.