By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” Mark 6, verses 35-37.
Do we whine to God? And does God want to hear it?
In this part of the story, Jesus’ disciples were exhausted physically and emotionally. In their defense, they’d been through a lot. Isn’t it sort of understandable that they (more or less) passed the buck to Jesus. “These folks are here to see you. It’s late. We’re tired and hungry. Your problem, Boss.” Like I said: whining.
And then there is me. It’s been a great month so far. In truth, I’ve been blessed with more than a few answered prayers. Work has gone great. Last week, I planted a ginormous garden: something I have wanted to do for years. And this past weekend we spent a great Easter with friends at church and then family at the house. Huge blessings were to be enjoyed all around. Sunday night, I got sick: sick with a virus or something, and I spent all day Monday flat on my back, much of the time sleeping. What did I do during the time I was awake? “God, please make me better. I’m sorry for whatever I did but please make me better because I feel awful!”
Now, it’s ok to lean on Jesus when you’re sick. In fact, He wants us to. Yet what I really wanted was God to just take care of this thing for me because, well, it was interfering with my life and, ya know, that’s SOOOOOO important! I was down and out and I turned to Jesus but I whined about it. At least the disciples had been out doing Jesus’ work. What had I been doing? Smoking a brisket and planting green beans. Yet we have this thing in common: we were grumbling and complaining to God.
So I’ll ask it again: do we whine to God, and does He want to hear it? What’s more, do we send people away when they come wanting, needing Jesus? And when we do that, do we whine to God to pass the buck instead of facing our own inadequacies?
You know the answers.
And when we do these things, we’re still not that different from those Apostles. Remember that these pillars of the Christian faith were men long before they were pillars. They made mistakes. They fought, failed, and fumbled. And they learned faith, first at the feet of the Lord, and they by living through faith in Him in whatever followed. None of them lived easy lives after that. I’m sure they would have loved to live in the country, growing vegetables, but that wasn’t how things turned out. Like them, we make mistakes. We whine to God. We turn away folks who want and need our help. We pass the buck, even to Him, when we should ‘man up’ and own our foibles. And through it, Jesus still is waiting for us, encouraging us, forgiving us and reminding us that He already did everything necessary to repair our relationship with the Father.
Lord, forgive my whining, heal my diseases, and help me to do Your bidding.
Read Mark 6, verses 30-44.