Following the disciples return to Jesus, they went by boat to a sparsely populated area to rest. Unfortunately, several people caught sight of them as they sailed away. While this was meant to be a secret thing, Mark writes that the people that saw them departing, “outwent” Jesus and His disciples, and were waiting for them on the other side.
No doubt, this frustrated the disciples, who would have been craving physical and spiritual refreshment. Now, instead of resting, they were surrounded by a mob of people that were pushing past them to get to Jesus. Oh, how often the business and exhaustion of life can impede our usefulness for the building of His kingdom.
Jesus, however, never missed an opportunity. One preacher put it this way, “as a fish exists to swim, and birds to fly, mankind exists to give God glory.” Jesus breathed this philosophy and no amount of exhaustion could stop Him from His ministering. He exploited the unexpected to the praise of God’s name and the building of God’s kingdom. He would not end up in frustration, but rather, exhausted, He would end up rejoicing.
Through telling of the feeding of the five thousand, Mark shows in the disciples’ example, what often our natural response to added pressure is. Although they had seen Jesus cast out demons, heal the sick, calm the storm, and much more, when it came time to eat, they reverted back to their natural state of dependence on themselves and on things. “Jesus, we don’t have any food or money,” they said sheepishly to the Master. Their statement lacked faith, but it was not because they didn’t trust Jesus, it was just that they weren’t thinking of everything that He had power over. Distraction and exhaustion had taken its toll on their faith.
Often, we can fall into the same trap of exhaustion or distraction. With life going on around us at such a rapid rate, and with such pounding consequence, we can become overwhelmed by the immediate and forget to trust in the God Who has promised to provide for us all things we need. In moments of fear, we look immediately for resolution instead of the saving hand of an Almighty God. In moments of need, we reach for the pocketbook, and strain and stress, instead of turning to the One who is over all, including necessities and finances. What a wonderful confidence we can have in a God Who is still powerful over all, even though at times, our exhausted eyes may be closed or our distracted gaze may be turned away from Him. He is God, and He is good.
Food For Thought: Read what Paul writes in Philippians 4:19. Take time today to write out some areas that you should be trusting God in.