Do you ever feel like God might be far less concerned with our comfort than we are?
In chapter 6 of Mark, Jesus' followers have been out on a serious butt-whooping tour; casting out demons and healing the sick. They come back to Jesus and tell them about everything they've done. And ministry goes on. They are so busy healing and helping that same day, they don't have time to even stop and eat. I'll bet a McD's would have come in handy.
Anyway, Jesus recognizes this and says, "Hey, let's get out of here and rest." The disciples must have thought, "Finally- he's thinking about our needs!" So they take off in a boat. Only there's a problem- someone sees them going and spreads the word. By the time Jesus and his weary helpers reach the shore, a whole crowd of people are waiting. If I'm one of the guys who just came back from a long foot-journey of ministry, I'm thinking, "Jesus, send them home!" But instead, Jesus has compassion on them. He starts teaching. And he teaches for a LONG time. Surely, the disciples had to have slipped in a nap here. But the teaching goes on so long that it's well past dinner time; and remember, they have already been too busy to eat.
Understandably, the disciples come to Jesus and complain, "It's late, there's no food here, send the people home." The words of Jesus must have sent their jaws to the ground, "YOU feed them." Us? HA! Jesus, we're tired. There's way too many people (over 5,000), and in case you didn't hear us, there's no food! You feed them. Honestly, I would have been ticked. I might have thrown in the towel right then. I do NOT do well when I am hungry! Or tired. Especially not both.
But Jesus is about to make magic. He sits the people down, takes one small sack lunch (a few fish and loaves) and simply looks up to heaven for blessing. Soon all 5,000+ people are chowing down with plenty to spare. While the disciples wanted Jesus to care about them and their personal well-being, Jesus seems more interested in growing their faith and showing them the power of God.
You know what? I'm not sure I like that. I think most of us would like a God that took care of us first and then did more ministry. But God continually calls us to something more, something higher. When this happens in my own life, I hope I'm not too tired or hungry to see it!
On your journey, may you know the kind of God who is MOST interested in growing your faith and showing you the power of heaven.