God is continually at work in our life, but we don’t always notice it. Especially when we are exhausted. So let us be alert, even if we are tired, so we do not miss His miracles.
We can miss God’s plan for our life. We can even be blind to the miracle that God performs before us. Singles, we might even miss the answer to our prayer! All of this because we are tired. That is what happened to the disciples of Jesus. “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened” (Mark 6:52 NKJV). Their hearts were “hardened”, that is, they were dull. But how can we remain insensitive to the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves?
To understand, we have to read what happened before that. The disciples were sent by Jesus into the neighboring villages, to spread the Word of God. Their first missionary trip! They came back very excited about the results, but also totally exhausted. After listening to them recount their adventures, Jesus intended to give them a little well-deserved rest. “And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31 NKJV).
But the deserted place chosen by Jesus did not remain deserted for long! “But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him” (Mark 6:33 NKJV). The disciples were exhausted, but the crowds followed them. The disciples were hungry and, Jesus asked them to share their food with everyone. We can imagine what state of mind the disciples were in as they handed out their lunch! They saw the miracle take place, but their hearts were hardened. Why? Because they were exhausted.
Jesus then sent His disciples to the sea. They were fishermen, used to sailing: going to sea was a good place to rest. But no! Even there, no rest for them. “Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them…” (Mark 6:48a NKJV) Then Jesus thought of passing them by, perhaps to prevent them from paddling against the tide. But when they saw Jesus walking on the water, they were afraid. “And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled” (Mark 6:49-51 NKJV). Look at Jesus’ reaction: He went to reassure them. He didn’t scold them. This time, He did not say to them: “You of little faith”! No, He went to join them, calmed the wind, and reassured them.
Jesus knows that when we are exhausted, we no longer see the miracles He does around us. He knows that when we are exhausted, we fear for our future. So He invites us to receive Him in our boat, to let Him come into our situation, where we are because He wants to give us His peace and His rest (Matthew 11:28).
Exhaustion can have many faces. We can be so busy with our occupation that we are physically tired. We can also be exhausted in our soul, after fighting in the faith. We can also just be weary because we don’t see our situation improving. Canadians are familiar with this state. After months of winter, especially when the snow has been abundant, they become “tired of winter”. We all felt this weariness when our governments imposed a second or third lockdown on us during the pandemic. This state is very natural, but let’s stay alert: we might be missing the miraculous hand of God in our life. Exhaustion can cause us not to understand the message God has for us right now. We might even miss out on some great opportunities that God has orchestrated to give us what our hearts desire.
Fatigue is natural, and God wants to give us rest, but until then, let’s stay alert to the wonders God is doing in our lives. Because God is never tired, and He is still at work in our life.