Don’t you remember?
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?” NIV
I love the way the Bible gives us insight into the internal dynamics of how Jesus trained and taught His disciples. In this little discussion, the disciples are trying to figure out what Jesus had just said to them about the yeast of the Pharisees. They concluded that Jesus was upset that they had not brought enough food for their journey. So many times they seemed to miss what He was trying to tell them. They were so shallow in their thinking that they often missed the wonder and awe of walking with the Messiah. And over and over again, we find Jesus rebuking them for failing to see, to understand, to remember and learn. How foolish to worry about bread, in this instance, when walking with the Bread of Life. How foolish to worry about provision in the company of the Great Provider.
I confess, I am quick to judge the disciples for their lack of faith. I wonder how these disciples who had a ringside experience of the majesty and power of Jesus, who saw firsthand the miracles, signs and wonders, these favored ones, could so quickly forget. How little faith they had.
But I have to catch myself because I know that I am exactly like them… how many times have I forgotten of His goodness too. How many times have I been overwhelmed by doubt and anxiety born out of a lack of faith.
Perhaps that’s why God keeps telling us to remember, to write it down, to keep what He has done in our hearts always, to tell our children stories of what He has done so that when times of trouble come, when we face challenges, we will remember and look to Him with faith and confidence.
We have this tendency to forget, don’t we? How quickly we forget the great challenges we faced in the past. How quickly we forget about the times when God intervened supernaturally in our lives to rescue us, deliver us, heal us, bring us through some difficult situation. Maybe His answer was not what we expected but He helped us make it through those dark times. We are here today because God did not fail us yesterday.
I can think of the many crises that I have had to face in my life. There were times when I felt so crushed and defeated that I had not the strength to go on. But He came; He lifted me up, and helped me walk on into a new day. There were times when I faced hopeless situations where there was no way out, no way round, no way through; but God found a way and brought me through. When I look back I can honestly say that Jesus has never failed me.
“A crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3) – that is what the Lord has done for me.
But so often I still forget and need to be reminded that the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Great Healer, The Great Provider, the Great Shepherd, the Faithful One, walks with me.
Are you going through a difficult time in your life right now? Do not despair. Pull out your box of memories. Think back on the faithfulness of God. Remember all those other times when He saw you through life’s challenges and turmoil. He was faithful. He is faithful. He will always be faithful. Arm yourself then with the faithfulness of God and stand strong; you are about to learn again of His great faithfulness!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [you] all the days of [your] life: and [you] will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps 23:6).