Mark indicates that the crowd was following Jesus for “three days now,” clearly and seriously hungering for the word of God that Jesus provided. Jesus points to their physical hunger as well, and he is “moved with pity” for them. He takes care not only of their spiritual needs but their basic human needs as well, even if he does not do it — at least here — in a theatrical, dazzling manner.
If we hunger for the things of God, if we seriously seek to place ourselves absolutely in His hands in every way, we too will receive what we need, our “daily bread,” both physically and spiritually. We might prefer other, richer “foods” — nicer family members and co-workers, resolution of our doubts, warm and fuzzy feelings, spiritual gifts and illuminations — but faith and hope mean that we believe firmly and constantly and despite all misleading movements of our hearts that what God gives us is actually what we most need. It demands a childlike trust and a willingness to endure the difficult and apparently pointless and even to thank God for it.
To truly seek God is to go wherever he leads us, into into richer or poorer, sickness or health, wherever. And that is where in His provident wisdom and His careful love he feeds his children the best.
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