Mark 8:6-7 6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them.
What stands out to me from this passage today is that Jesus gave thanks before the miracle occurred. This seems so counter-intuitive in our culture. We don’t give thanks before we receive, we only give thanks after we receive. And sometimes even then we’re not very good at giving thanks. Jesus had about 4000 people to feed, and all his disciples could come up with were seven loaves and a few fish. This was an impossible situation from a human perspective. Yet Jesus doesn’t break into a long prayer begging God to provide more, he simply gives thanks for what he has and trusts that it will be enough. He doesn’t panic, or tell his disciples off for not being better prepared, or send the people away hungry. He simply thanks God and trusts it will be enough. He was faithful to thank God and God provided in a miraculous way.
I know when I am faced with a situation where the incomings don’t seem enough for the outgoings I rarely feel like giving thanks straight away, and I think that is true for a lot of us. I spend a lot of time asking God to meet the needs, but often forget to thank him for what he has already provided. This can be especially true when we are faced with something big or unexpected, something we can’t quite get our heads around. Jesus thanked God not because He had already met the need, but because He had provided something and Jesus trusted Him to do the rest. Jesus had an attitude of gratefulness and faith despite the need before him, and God was faithful. We need to change our attitude to match that of Jesus and trust God to do the rest.
What needs are you facing at the moment that feel too big to manage?
What needs has God already met in your life, either in the past or currently?
What things do you take for granted that you need to thank God for?
How can you apply Jesus’ attitude of gratitude to your current situation?