“Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?"
I am fairly thick. My Father in Heaven has helped me time and again whenever I have taken a step of faith and left my family exposed. And yet, I still worry. Maybe I don't worry about my well-being as much as being dissatisfied with where I am and wonder why He has brought me to this point in my life.
So I can empathise with the disciple's lack of memory. It is comforting and disturbing at the same time that these men who were eye-witnesses to some of the most amazing events in human history still fumbled around with what Jesus was attempting to teach them. Wouldn't I remember that wonderful day when Jesus fed a larger crowd with five loaves and two small fish? Wouldn't it be the natural reaction to a similar situation to expect a similar solution? "Teacher, here are seven loaves of bread, which is more than the five we had before and a few small fishes. This crowd, which is smaller than the crowd before, has been here for a few days. Can you please help us feed the crowd with this food?"
Alas, Jesus' Jewish disciples ask, "How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” Not only had they forgotten distant history when their ancestors were fed with manna from heaven, but recent history as well. Maybe some events are so miraculous, it is only natural to assume they can only happen once.
When it comes to following Jesus, when it comes to immersing each other in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, when it comes to doing everything that Jesus commanded, when it comes to loving our neighbour as ourselves, the problem is never, never ever, never never ever lack of resources.
The only thing that prevents us from loving our neighbour as ourselves is not loving our Father in heaven with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The only thing that prevents us from loving our neighbour as ourselves is not knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.
Fact of the matter is that the Spirit of God is actively working all the time. The problem isn't God. The problem is us. Our minds are dull. Our perception is limited. Our hearts are hard. Our eyes have glaucoma. We are hard of hearing. Our memories fail us. The reason we think our Father in heaven isn't working, isn't blessing, is an absentee father is not because he is distant. He has always been there, all along.
From a worldly point of view, God's active, loving blessings to us make no sense. Why would he care? I certainly wouldn't care if I were him. So, we "logically" explain him away. All of us at one time or another have decided that we can live better without him. Maybe to acknowledge his providence is to acknowledge his will for us. And, we stubbornly refuse. We live in a world of pain and death and it is difficult to see any other way.
"Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand."
Father, I don't want to be ignorant. I don't want to be hard or stubborn or blind or deaf. I want to see your glory at work. I want to remember how you have loved and blessed me so that I can run to where you want me to be. The future is bleak without you and is eagerly anticipated with you. Thank you for always working. How can I help?