“Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.” Matthew 6:34
There are those times when our feelings control our principles. Right? In this culture of “if it feels good, do it” mentality, our beliefs get tossed out the window and we camp on our fleeting emotions to carry us.
Mark 6 reports the story of Jesus and his followers trying in vain to have a mini retreat to grieve the loss of John the Baptist who had just been murdered. Jesus encouraged them to get in the boat and push off to a lonely place and rest. But the people, unaware of the disciples’ sorrow, followed them, wanting a moment of time and teaching from Jesus. So Jesus brought them together on a grassy knoll to instruct and heal them. The crowd grew hungry and they neglected to bring lunch. Jesus instructed those weary disciples to feed them. They found a few loaves and two fish. Right before the apostles’ eyes, Jesus fed over five thousand souls with that small offering.
Catch this. Before Jesus handed over the bread to the disciples to distribute to the crowd, He lifted his head to heaven and blessed the food. All the power that Jesus poured out came straight from His heavenly Father, the Provider. Jesus’ Provider became the people’s Provider. Was this act lost on His disciples? Apparently.
Take two. Jesus tried once again to send His weary beloved disciples out on the boat “to a lonely place” to retreat and relax. Jesus hung back to say good-bye to the remaining satisfied stragglers.
The seasoned fishermen strained with the oars when the gale hit them full force . After midnight, the storm still raging, they spotted a ghost out on the sea! Scared out of their wits, they screamed and hollered. Jesus, the calm one, announced to the frantic men, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” As soon as He entered the craft, the gale abated. They breathed and stared at Jesus, not wondering what just happened, but who was this man? The following verse says, “They had gained no insight from the incident of the loaves, for their heart was hardened.” (Mark 6:52)
Take away: While mulling over this story, you who have shared your practical anxieties of how you will care for your children came to mind. Your job is on the line, you’re laid off, you’re struggling with bills, you’re tired and alone. Jesus’ story told me a few things, as we are so similar to the human disciples. The disciples had given up their occupations and families to travel the countryside with this prophet who had called them. And now, they were saddened with news of John the Baptist’s savage execution. Knowing full well they needed time off from the crowds, Jesus sent them away on the boat.
But LIFE happened. The people demanded their attention. They each had to press through their weariness, their trouble, and minister. Again. But Jesus showed them His Father’s provision at the meal when he fed the crowd, aware the masses would not comprehend the deeper message. He provided the food. After that miracle, Jesus showed His sovereignty over the creation by settling the storm right in front of His disciples. Why? To say I provide. I preserve. I am God.
I know. We’re just like the disciples. Show us, Jesus. So, you have kept my family from starving. But today, Jesus, it’s different. This job doesn’t bring in enough income and I’m scared to death I won’t be able to put enough food on the table. We have these experiences when we are leaning into our perceptions and forget to lean into our conviction as to who Jesus is and how He has been sustaining. He has been our strength. He has protected. He will not give up on us. What do we do? Trust. Breathe and recognize who this Jesus is whom we claim we have faith in and lean into Him. Right now. Believing in and trusting in HIM. Our Provider.
Eyes off your troubles. Focus on Him.