Consciously set aside the things that are on your mind: your worries, your fears, your plans. Then, ask God to speak to you.
Read Mark 6:30-56
 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.  When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.  By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”  But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”  “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five-and two fish.”  Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied,  and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.  The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.  Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.  When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,  but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out,  because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,  for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.  When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.  As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus.  They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.  And wherever he went-into villages, towns or countryside-they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do you think Jesus was demonstrating by these miracles?
How do you react in a crisis? Maybe you panic, rushing around looking for human solutions: we could buy bread (37). Or maybe you simply resign yourself to the hopelessness of the situation: it can’t be done, make them go away (36).
The feeding of the five thousand took place at a time when Jesus was trying to find a quiet place to rest with his disciples (6:31,32) after a similarly busy period. But his plan was foiled by the crowds following them, and they ended up spending another day ministering to people’s needs. They were tired and needed a break. So Jesus sends them away in a boat, while he takes some time alone with the Father. They got into a boat to rest, but sailed straight into a storm.
Often our attempts to rest are thwarted and we end up working instead. But Jesus knew the disciples needed rest, so he stepped in and calmed the storm. He can help us, too, to preserve our times of quiet in a crazy world.
Are you feeling frazzled or facing an impossible situation? Take time to rest with the Father, family and friends.
Ask the Lord now to help you lift your eyes off any frustrations, challenges or problems you face and onto him.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.