Read Matthew 12: 1-8
Nope, that’s not a typo. We’re returning to the same passage as yesterday, because a thought struck me as I was writing it…
Why were the disciples hungry?
Maybe that’s a dumb question. They were human, after all, so they weren’t exempt from hunger.
But the disciples were hanging out with the all-powerful God of the universe, a guy who could conjure a five-course meal out of thin air if He chose to. Why did they have to resort to picking grain in a stranger’s field?
Not long before this, Jesus had said, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7) during the Sermon on the Mount. Did none of the disciples think to ask for a loaf of bread? Maybe a Cliff bar for that midday protein boost?
Jesus is not a magical vending machine. Sure, He could’ve fed His disciples whenever He pleased. He could’ve altered their bodies so they were constantly nourished and never needed to eat. He’s God; He can do anything.
But that’s not how life works. Even those closest to Jesus didn’t experience easy lives because they were His buddies. They still felt fear, worry, anxiety, confusion, and, of course, hunger.
This makes me think about my prayer life. Anyone who’s ever prayed knows there are times when God’s answer is “no.” No matter how hungry we are for a positive answer, we don’t always receive our desired response.
God knows the future and what’s best for us in a way we couldn’t possibly understand (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes we have to remain hungry because that’s what’s best for us… even when it seems to make absolutely no sense in the moment.
But here’s where I find the disciples’ trek through the field uplifting: Jesus may not have conjured a dozen burritos to chow down on, but He led them through a field with small snacks for grain. He helped sustain them until their next meal.
I think this applies in our prayer lives, too. We still might be waiting for the “yes” to some of our most important prayers, but I think God gives us small blessings and affirmations to keep us going along the way.
What are your “big” prayers right now? How has God answered them? Can you see ways He’s provided small morsels to encourage and uplift you?