Gifted with an excellent memory, I rarely struggle in bible memorization, recalling important dates, or even remembering the details of an old recipe. But one day recently, God brought me up short with one simple question, “Do you not remember?”
Upon completion of a daily scripture meditation in my Lectio 365 on a passage contained in Mark 8:17-21, where Jesus asks eight questions in five verses, one question echoed through my mind long after I closed my bible.
“Do you not remember?” I can almost sense the incredulity in Jesus’ voice as He asks this question of the disciples in an exchange following the feeding of the five thousand.
“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?”
Remember the Provision
After not only viewing but participating in the amazing miracle feeding of five thousand plus people with five loaves and two fishes, then again witnessing and facilitating the feeding of four thousand plus people with seven loaves and a few small fishes, the disciples sit wringing their hands over having no bread in the boat.
Laughing as I considered the sheer irony of the situation, the sober thought crept into my mind of my own fretfulness over the day’s demands.
Despite a timid acceptance of knowing my peace rests only in Christ, not in controlling the outcome of my day, I still wrestled my schedule to the ground in a vain attempt at getting my needs met.
Instead of remembering the generous provision God supplied on previous days, like the disciples, I sat wringing my hands over the perceived lack of time and resources facing me.
“Do you not remember?”
Remember the Provider
In a way, Jesus asking the disciples if they remembered the events of the preceding miracles, was a rhetorical question. No doubt they remembered the astounding miracles, they simply failed to make the connection between the BIG miracles and their little problem of having no bread.
Remembering God’s wonderful provisions in past situations is not our problem; failure in remembering the same all-powerful God is present with us in this new need-filled situation blinds us to His sustaining care right in front of us.
The Bread of Life sat with the disciples in their present need, in the same way He sat with me in the midst of mine. The maker and sustainer of the Universe generously provides for all of His creation.
“From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
“Do You Not Remember?”
Remember the Promise
Grasping at every angle and alternative to ensure the peace necessary for my well-being while accomplishing my responsibilities, only created more mental clutter and general disruption.
“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The peace I so desperately desired rested only in Christ. (John 14:27) Not in better time management skills in organizing my day or even its daily necessities of eating and drinking.
Nor looking to myself for solutions or manipulation tactics for ensuring my desired outcomes.
Remembering God’s promise of ultimate, abundant care and provision keeps my focus on His kingdom where fullness of Peace and Joy await.
Do You Not Remember?
If a spiritual memory lapse has you wringing your hands in frustration or worry about your present circumstances, I invite you to a season of recollection.
- Remember the Provision. Take a moment to reflect on God’s generous provisions in past seasons.
- Remember the Provider. Turn your eyes on the Provider, the maker and sustainer of the universe, who remains always with you.
- Remember the Promise. Hold tight to the unshakeable promise of God’s abundant provisions for His children.
Most of all, yield yourself to God’s greater purpose in your situation, that your eyes may see beyond your own small needs and anxieties to the vast abundance of God’s unfailing love and care for you.
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