We studied the story of the loaves and the fishes in Sunday School this week. It is so true that the word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), for I read this all too familiar story and noticed some new points and peculiarities. Malcom, our teacher this particular Sunday, briefly journeyed us through the preceding stories in the book of Mark, all of which had extraordinary things occurring, such as returning the dead to life. This overview helped us to gain a little better of a perspective of the moment, which was when 2 fish and 5 loaves fed 5,000 men, not to even mention the women and children that had flocked to hear this talk of the town, Jesus and his disciples speak (click here if you need to read it for the first time or to be refreshed). Not only were these people fed till full, there were leftovers, from such a paltry beginning!
One thing we were asked to consider was what the people thought of this miracle, the people who came hungry and left fed. It was at that moment I began to think that perhaps these people did not even know they had observed a miracle. They just sat in their groups, as the disciples had instructed them to do, and they ate. Sure, some might have considered the origination of these fish and loaves, but I would argue that number was extremely small. As a mom, I would just be glad to have something edible to feed my hungry babies!
Alright, I’ll tell the truth…..I would have been more excited about having food for myself. Trust me, you don’t want to see me hungry :O).
How the nourishment got there? Who cares. It is here and I am eating it and it is good and I am full. Enough said. But here is where we need to learn something. Sometimes, we feel like the Lord is absent. Sometimes we just glide along in life and hit a few bumps in the road yet carry on without real pain. Sometimes friends, we are handed exactly what we need and never think about where it came from—that we just received a miracle. It touched our hands and passed through our lips without us even contemplating the giver of that blessing. Our tummies and hearts are full. We’ve been blessed by our Maker and we don’t even acknowledge it.
On the other end of the spectrum, the disciples knew what had truly occurred. They knew that at the command from Jesus to “give them something to eat,” they were overwhelmed. They knew it was impossible for man alone, and they saw the Lord bless the bread and literally multiply it to not just meet but exceed the need. How awesome is that!?!
Seriously awesome, in case you did not know the answer.
Moments after the miracle, the disciples were made to get into a boat so they could escape the crowd. Jesus did not directly follow but instead went to be alone. When he decided to join them, he did what any Savior of the World might do, and he simply took a jaunt on the water. His disciples, who just participated in a miracle, are recorded as being puzzled by his mode of transportation, thinking He was a ghost, and “not understand[ing]” (HCSB) and having “considered not the miracle of the loaves” (KJV). Seriously? You guys just handed out bread and fish to a multitude and you didn’t get it? You forgot it? You did not recall it? Seriously? And to top it off, “their hearts were hardened.”
That pains me. It hurts because I have done it too. I have come fresh off a win, straight out of a miracle, and then I have forgotten just exactly what the Lord has done. How he saved me, set me free, met my need, healed my pain, and walked me out of the pit. I forget because I have entered into a new valley or difficult moment. I do not consider because I do not need Him now, for things are fine (see point above to see how silly this one is!!). I forgot; I forget.
And while all these things went through my mind, I remembered something from my recent Beth Moore study. She touches on this so well:
Sometimes Christ walks through our crisis dressed in the best disguise of all: ordinary events. He tucks a miracle in the fold of His robe and sweeps in and out unnoticed. Only in retrospect do we realize that a divine visitation graced our cold, crude winter and the resurrection of spring is on its way. Sometimes we grab the hem of Christ’s garment for dear life and are healed. Other times it brushes past us and we never recognize that the turn-around marking the months to come began with a single touch.
What an amazing God that He blesses us and calls us His own. What a God that will give bread rather than a stone, that will deliver us a miracle in the day to day, even when we do not notice. Let’s be diligent and look for His movement in 2010. Keep your eyes peeled for His divine intervention in daily events. And, especially friends, when we see it with our eyes and feel it in our hearts, let’s certainly not forget.
What has the Lord done for you?