These must have been welcome words for the disciples to hear from Jesus: “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Whew! Did they need that! They were so busy with the vast crowds coming and going that they did not even have time to eat. So finally, alone at last in a boat together they headed for a deserted place for a little R & R.
But it was not to be. When the crowd saw them depart, they anticipated where Jesus would land and ran there on foot ahead. As Jesus and the disciples arrived a multitude was on shore, desperate for them. I can feel myself wanting to shoo them away. “C’mon, give us a break! We’re exhausted; come back another time.”
Now Jesus knew the disciples needed rest (so did he) and it was his compassion for them which planned the quiet time. But as he arrived on shore and saw the multitude, instead of irritation taking over, his compassion went into higher gear. He saw them “like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34) Rest would have to wait a little while longer.
Out of this plan gone awry comes the miracle of the multiplication of five loaves and two fish feeding five thousand. The people received ministry and the disciples were tutored in faith – a lesson they would reflect on after Jesus was gone and they were carrying on in his stead.
Has your plan gone awry, even one God prescribed? Watch closely! This may end up better than you think.