In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” (Mark 8:1-4)
The beginning of the event – how does it end?
Jesus recognized that the crowd was hungry — were they murmuring like the Israelites in the desert? (Exodus 16:2-3). Is this really the same story? The Israelites had followed Moses into the desert, to reach a new place, a new home, to have a new beginning. The crowd is following Jesus, yearning for a new relationship, a new experience, to have new meaning in their lives.
God gave the Israelites manna, and they were hungry no more. The disciples, by asking the question, failed to remember that God provided for the Israelites, even when they were in the desert. This snippet of text does not tell us how the event ended, but if we remember that God will provide, we know the answer. Even when we are in a desert, we will be fed, we will not be hungry.
Dear God, Help me to remember that you will provide, you will feed my hunger, you will hold me tight, you will be with me as I traverse the desert. Thank you for your presence. Amen.
Norman Mahan — Working to remember