Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. - Matthew 15:32-39
Do you wonder if Jesus’ face showed a look of exasperation when his disciples remarked that there wasn’t a source for enough food in that place for all the people who had come to Jesus? It was perhaps only several months earlier that they were in a similar situation: big hungry crowd, remote area, very little food. At that time they witnessed the power of Jesus as he miraculously multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed more than 5,000 people and there were leftovers (Matthew 14:13-21). Now confronted with another needful situation, how could the disciples have forgotten the lesson from their earlier experience?
Before we shake our heads in wonder at the disciples, we better take a good look at ourselves. For don’t we often react to a new problem or challenge with wavering doubt and fearful concern, forgetting how God has mercifully and abundantly taken care of us in the past? We have to keep relearning the lesson that God is not going to forsake us and that he going to provide all things good for us.
So Jesus didn’t become disgusted with his disciples. He simply acted in compassion on those people in need and helped the disciples learn again that they can count on him always for help. By his power and love, he will provide.
In the same way he is patient with us. He has blessed us before, and he will bless us again, so that we keep learning to trust him in all circumstances.
Jesus, forgive me when I forget how you have blessed me in the past. When I face new problems and challenges in my life, help me put my confidence in your power and love to always help me. Amen.