“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognize them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.” – Mark 6:32,33
In the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 men, His intention was to go to a quiet place with His disciples. They got into a boat and headed to a solitary place. But recognizing Jesus and His disciples, many ran ahead of them, so that by the time Jesus reached the other side, there was a large crowd waiting for Him.
Imagine that scene: men abruptly seizing their labour and calling out to their wives to round up the children quickly, “We can’t afford to lose sight of him?” Mothers telling their children to hurry along so they can keep up with everyone walking as fast as they could to get to Jesus. The Bible says they actually ran.
Imagine how great their desire must have been to learn from Jesus that they ran on foot to get to where he was. Being in his presence trumped everything else.
Have you ever found yourself in a place emotionally or spiritually where you so desperately needed to hear from God that nothing else mattered in that moment?
And as the day progressed, what they were receiving from Him was so nourishing to their souls they were not concerned about their physical needs in the least.
What strikes me about this story is that once the fish and the bread had been brought to Jesus, He had the people sit down in groups of 50s and 100s. In other words, Jesus prepared them to receive a miracle that He had not performed yet.
And the people behaved like what they needed for their physical nourishment was already so. When they sat down, all they had were 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
How many times do we wait to be certain of something we say we are trusting God for before we align our actions accordingly? “I’ll move when he moves,” we declare. We want the assurance before we act; and yet Jesus did not proceed to perform the miracle until the people had been seated. Their actions in anticipation of receiving what had not yet been provided for them was a critical step that preceded the miracle.
Another reason the people needed to be seated was so everyone could see what Jesus was about to do.
Then, Jesus gave thanks for what seemed inadequate. He spoke like the miracle had already been performed.
That spoke to me because, through this story, I realize that it’s not enough for me to hope for a miracle, I must speak and act like it is already so.
For all the things you are asking God to do in your life, pay attention to what He is instructing you to do and then prepare to receive those things like they have already been done. After all, isn’t that what faith is?
The crowd went to Jesus to listen to his teachings, they didn’t go to him expecting to be fed. But when they left his presence that day, they had received more than what they sought from him in the first place. When you seek God and spend time in his presence, you always leave with more than what you went there for. His blessings will always exceed your expectations.