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? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 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.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:17-21 ESV)
Sometimes we become too short sighted because we focus on the problems and narrow our perspectives even more by getting lost in the details. In the passage above, Jesus questioned his disciples’ level of understanding regarding the big picture, mainly the nature of his deity and power. Did they not remember he multiplied the food to feed thousands of people? Did they not recall how he healed of the blind, calmed the storm, and casted out demons? I actually don’t fault them for losing perspective because often times the nature of our issues have a tendency to preoccupy our thoughts. When we feel that we lose control, we hyper-focus on ways to get it back.
Think about the biggest problem that you have ever faced. Was it distracting and inconvenient? Did it increase your anxiety and cause a feeling of restlessness? If you are an honest human, you would have said “yes” to all of these questions. When we are hit with adversity, it catches us off guard and the last thing we think about is how God will intervene. We first try to understand what is going on and then try to process it, rethinking how things should have gone differently if we did this or that.
Several years ago, my daughter forgot her passport on the airplane. We were so tired from the flight that I forgot to ask if she had it with her. Nobody from the plane turned it in and we are now left with figuring out how to get a replacement while in a foreign country. It was a bit unnerving to say the least and threw us off track at the beginning our our trip. In short, we booked a flight to the capital and were able to get one printed from the U.S. Embassy. Upon leaving the building, the security guard saw my face and said, “Everything is going to be alright. Don’t worry about a thing and enjoy your day!”
At that moment, I realized that I should have prayed first. I forgot that God is in control of everything and that he would help us get back home with a passport on hand. The words from that security guard was timely, and I don’t think he realized that was what I needed to hear. Now that was probably not a crisis compared to what many other people go through. But the key takeaway here is that the Lord is always with us no matter how difficult or crazy our lives can get. God is way bigger than our problems and he wants us to feel reassured that “everything will be okay” under his watch. And even if the worst-case scenario does play out, he will surround us with the comfort and support that we need. There is no way we can fully understand dire or tragic circumstances. But what we can be certain about is God’s redemptive and restorative power. He will heal, he will provide, and he will make all things brand new in due time.