March 8 - Anna Ortung


AM Psalm [83] or 42, 43; PM Psalm 85, 86

Genesis 46:1-7,28-34; 1 Corinthians 9:1-15; Mark 6:30-46


“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

This phrase is one I’ve never contemplated while hearing the story of the feeding of the five thousand. The beginning of the story pales in comparison to what follows as the second miracle of Jesus described in the gospels. 

If the apostles were anticipating a restful evening, the crowds they received when they arrived at their destination gave them anything but. However, Mark says that Jesus had compassion on them, for they were “like sheep without a shepherd.” Despite desiring a restful evening, Jesus fulfilled his role as teacher.

I wonder how tiring this must have been for the disciples. As followers of Jesus, I’m sure this was one of many times when whatever plans they had made unraveled as people sought healing and teaching from them. Eventually, the disciples suggest that the people should be sent home for food. Of course, this is when the miracle occurs. I wonder if it was as obvious to the disciples as to me, simply reading this, that often the best things come from what you weren’t planning or expecting.

The disciples may have been planning for a quiet evening of rest, but instead they bore witness to an incredible miracle. In this season of reflection, ask yourself what opportunities you may have missed by being caught up in plans. Like the disciples, see if you can put those aside and live in the moment today. You may be surprised by what you see.

- Anna Ortung