The day after Jesus feeds the 5,000 men (plus women and children) with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (John 6:9-13), the people come looking and find Him again. Jesus makes an observation about this crowd in verses 26-27:
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Jesus tells them that He is the bread of life, He is what they need. Still, the people just want food!
“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” John 6:33-36
Humans are, shall we say, short-sighted. I have days when I choose to throw a pity party. More days than I’d care to admit. When I look back on those days, I can always find that my focus was on me, my problems, my concerns, my fears – instead of God. Short-sightedness, myopia.
I was talking with a friend the other day. He has a lot on his mind. Challenges at work, problems at home, burdens on his heart, troubles on his mind. I tried to shine light on the reality of our lives today, spiritually speaking. I said something like “God cares more about your heart than He does about these situations.” As if I had an inside connection to God’s mind. This is why I write instead of speak. Anyway, I was attempting to point out that God may be working on his heart more urgently than He is working out these situations. Not because God doesn’t care about our situations but because the situations are temporary, and our hearts are eternal. Besides, situations will change.
On page 53 of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, a black-and-white proposition is offered:
“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crises we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?”
My experiences and revelations have confirmed, for me anyway, that God is indeed everything. He is, He was, He always will be. Everything changes in the lifetime of a human being: appearance, desires, hopes, problems, age, relationships, even our understanding of God. I can only imagine what constant-through-eternity must be like. I can’t be constant through a day.
God truly is the same every day, and therefore completely reliable and dependable. Throughout the story told by the Bible, we see God’s unwavering love for us. This realization of God’s consistency brings comfort and peace that anchors us in times of change. And change is a-coming. For each of us.
Back to Jesus and the masses on the day after He fed them… in a way, it is like the day after Thanksgiving: we were fed (stuffed) yesterday, and now we worry whether there will be <fill-in-the-blank> today. Jesus says I’m focusing on the wrong things. I need not worry for these temporary things, God will provide. I need to focus on Him because my eternal heart will never be satisfied with anything else.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
We can be thankful for the feast we enjoyed yesterday, yet every day we can look forward to receiving what we truly need: the loving presence of the permanent, unchangeable, constant God who provides for us every moment of our lives.
Now excuse me while I go make a turkey casserole. Or maybe a turkey meatloaf.