Ever get tired and have had enough? Been working hard. Had deadlines to meet. Been caring for others. You feel like you are running on empty.
The disciples in Mark 6:30 have just come back from a ‘mission trip,’ and they were sharing with Jesus all that had occurred. Jesus encourages them to come away for a while to rest. There were too many comings and goings and no rest.
So, after getting in the boat, the crowds, seeing what was happening, decided to follow them onshore.
Jesus saw the crowd. He had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Are you one of the ones in the crowd He saw? Meandering along in life at times with no sense of direction, of purpose, of a greater plan? For our good shepherd Jesus sees us individually, intimately in the crowd.
And so, He began to teach them, to share wisdom, kindness, encouragement with them. Then it grew late.
The disciples came to Jesus. They had had enough. They suggested sending away the people so they could buy themselves something to eat in the surrounding villages. (for they were far from anywhere). Remember not long before this they had just returned from their travels.
So, the disciples were trying to relay to Jesus that they were all tired and to send the crowd away before they get hungry. They said, ‘Their problem of food is not our problem. We’ve had enough!’
Do we do that sometimes? Put the way we feel onto Jesus and expect Jesus to agree with us. I’m angry, I’m not forgiving anymore. I’m tired, I’m not giving any more. I’m frustrated so no more Mrs nice guy.
But what was Jesus reply? ‘You give them something to eat.’
The disciple’s first response was – do you know how much the food for all of them is going to cost.? Basically – are you insane?
And He said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’
A similar scenario has happened to me, just a different set of issues.
I had a huge assignment due in week 8 of a 10-week term at school. It’s now week 2. Looking at the whole assignment, I started panicking, wondering how was I going to do all that they require? I’ll run out of time. I have no time. Where do I start? Before I’ve even begun, I have my thoughts in a defeatist attitude.
Then my wise Mother stepped in and helped me plan how to achieve what was asked. How to cut it down to bite-sized tasks to work on and so complete everything required.
The disciples looked at the huge problem and decided it was too hard and they weren’t even going to try and solve this.
But Jesus states ok what do we have? What are our gifts and abilities? What is in our hand? What can I use?
The disciples say, ‘5 loaves and 2 fish.’ Basically, not enough.
But the lesson they learn is that with Jesus, trusting in Him, and doing our bit there is more than enough. There are even left-overs after feeding 5000 men. Not including women and children. There are 12 basketfuls left over.
I’m often like the disciples. I’ve got nothing. Nothing to give to others. I can’t do what I feel God has asked me to do. I’m tired. I don’t have all the gifts and abilities. But with Jesus, there is more than enough. When we are weak, He is strong.
We sometimes think we have to figure it all out by ourselves. But no, this is an intimate relationship of love and friendship and Jesus has already figured it out. He did not panic. He did not look perplexed. Jesus wants us to trust in Him, trust in His Father. Our Father. He will ask us to cooperate with Him, but He has the perfect plan. He will ask us to put in our small number of loaves and fish but then will abundantly give to us – and then see what can be achieved.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Oh, do I need that Grace! Freely given. A free gift. I had to remind myself. I just need to ask for it. It’s mine for the taking if I want it.
So right now, turn to Jesus for all your needs, desires, wishes/ He will come and aid us.