Mark 8:1 In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, 2 “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” 4 His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. 7 They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. 8 They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.
If this story sounds familiar, it should. This story of feeding 4,000 in Mark chapter 8 was preceded by a story of feeding 5,000 in Mark chapter 6. It’s a short distance in the written gospel though we can’t be sure how long has passed chronologically between the two episodes. Nevertheless, one would expect that disciples to respond with confidence to the challenge of feeding thousands of people after having done it once before – for an even larger group. But… they don’t. They seem as perplexed this time as they did the last time.
It’s interesting how quickly I forget the blessings of God. I can’t count the number of times the Lord has seen me through difficult chapters of life. The Lord has been so faithful over the years, but I still get anxious. I wonder, “Will you come to my aid this time Lord?”
This is one reason why I so appreciate psalms written by King David. He’s constantly dealing with challenges from inside and outside the kingdom. He’s often at a loss for what to do in a particular situation, but he never forgets that God is on his side. David does not doubt that God will eventually deliver him from life’s dangers.
Lord give me a heart like David, confident in your mercies and faithfulness. Forgive me when I doubt and hold fast to me in times of trouble. Amen.