Read: Mark 8:1-21
‘Seeing is believing.’ I have heard people utter this saying from time to time, and it sends a bit of annoyance running down my spine. Seeing is not always believing and believing is not always seeing.
Mark chapter 8 provides an instance showing that seeing does not always bring with it belief. A reminder that even the disciples grappled understanding who Jesus truly was, and they physically watched as he fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, and observed him perform the same miracle for 4,000 with seven loaves of bread. With their very own eyes they were able to behold him meet the needs of those around him time and time again, yet, they still found themselves on a boat worried that someone forgot to bring the bread – and in doing so throwing out the ‘truth’ in seeing is believing. I wonder, why couldn’t they see that if he loved those in the crowd enough to meet their need, he would do the same for them? With this thought my heart is moved to sadness, as I am reminded that we are so much the same…
No, we no longer see him in bodily form and no, we don’t have the ability to touch him, but we have the Holy Spirit working in our lives and it offers an experience that we CAN feel, see, and touch, yet we are just like the disciples reacting to situations with the same worry. I imagine Jesus responding to us in those seasons of doubt and turmoil much the same as he responded to his disciples in Mark 8:16-21
16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. 17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
Do you not yet understand?…Do we not yet understand that it was he who paved a way when we couldn’t see one? It was he who mended our broken heart. It was he who provided a job when one was needed. It was he – when you were financially stressed and that money just so happened to show up so you could pay your bills? Do we not yet understand as we sit back and see how everything has worked together for our own good? …It wasn’t coincidental, it wasn’t happenstance, it was the God of the universe providing for the needs of his people just has he did for the 5,000 and the 4,000, and just like he did it for them, he will do it for us. It is so easy to allow our natural tendancy of doubt and worry to take over when the stress piles on. It is easy to forget God’s blessing in moments of disarray. It’s easy, yes, but not an excuse to keep thinking this way. The disciples did struggle, and we read about it several times in God’s word, but as we go deeper into their stories we find that they got better, and their faith increased, and God was able to use them to increase his kingdom, and spread the gospel. And just like them, he wants our faith to increase, he wants us to get past the stress and worry, and trust him. In order to do that we have to make up in our minds that when the stress piles on we are going to push through it all.
Let our prayer today to be that our hearts are not hardened, our ears are open, and our eyes can see, and we remember so that we can understand and percieve that it is he who has done a great work, and it is he who will continue to do that same work.
As you start your day today remember,
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.