Go back in time to a remote mountainside in Israel where crowds by the thousands had followed Jesus. He healed legs so they could walk, made blind eyes see and gave voice to those who could not talk. Can you picture him with thousands of men, women and children gathered outside on the side of this mountain? He had healed the people as they brought their loved ones to him which had gone on for three days. Jesus had changed the lives of the families who had faith to bring their concerns to Him.
But there’s more to the story.
Matthew 15:32 NIV: 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.
He had compassion on them and also saw their physical need for food. After calling his disciples together for a meeting, he performed the miracle of using the seven loaves and fishes to provide for the four thousand men plus women and children.
This story about Jesus’ compassion and provision of food astounds me. In the middle of nowhere, in a remote area where there was no way to get food, Jesus decided to provide for everyone who was present, not just those with a physical disability. The extra baskets of food leftover always remind me of his idea of giving us plenty.
What I am most recently noticing is how observant that Jesus was of the people’s hunger and its effect on them. He didn’t want them to collapse due to their lack of food.
I know that in our time, he still has compassion. He notices us and our circumstances. He sees you. He knows the details of what is lacking in your life. He will make a way.
If you have felt like falling to pieces on our remote mountains of isolation, you’re not the only one. The day to day energy that it takes to move through our new normal of life in a pandemic eventually chips away at our contentment or peace of mind. It’s similar to how those people who had been following Jesus for three days felt when they were far from a food source for their families. I can guess that at least one of those people had asked, “What will we eat?” or “What should we do now?”.
Jesus provided refreshment based on his observation.
The people had been with him for three days having their many physical ailments healed. He knew how their bodies worked and supplied for their body what they could not.
Collapsing from lack was not approved by Jesus on the mountain. He knows how much our pain has drained our lives. We’ve operated in pandemic times for a year now which has changed how we live with the isolation and uncertainty. He is able to fill us again with joy and supply what may be lacking.
He may use something that appears to be small like the loaves and fishes to refill or supply what you have lacked. He may call a meeting of people to organize in a new way to change the outcome which was his purpose in gathering the disciples for their meeting with him. He could even have you sit down and wait or quarantine while the miracle begins like the crowds did that day on the mountain. I just know he sees, is concerned and does not want you to collapse.
In our long days of doing life in a pandemic, let it sink in today that Jesus knows where you are. His observant eyes zoom in on your situation, on your need and on what you have. Just like back on that mountain, he is working out the details.
Is he calling you to observe the concerns of someone in need? He had a meeting with the disciples and then they brought him the seven loaves and fishes. He equips people with skills to organize, teach, lead and maneuver so that His plans will come to fruition.
Let’s remember to be observant like Jesus. And also remember, He’s aware of the needs in our heart, home and health. Praying allows our need to connect to his compassionate heart. Now may be a good time to bow our heads and share our concerns for ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, our nation and our world. I can’t fix the world and its issues, but I can notice and observe in my realm of influence then let the Holy Spirit guide me to help and lift up others.
I pray that you’ll sense the presence of the Holy Spirit who comforts and provides; who restores and reminds us that compassion is always the heart of Jesus. His hands provided then and now. I see him using the hands of many people to meet the needs of our world.
Have you connected with Jesus lately and shared your concerns? He knows our needs before we ask, but bringing our requests to him in prayer will allow us to focus on Him and his capacity to help.