by Jennie Walter
It is a joy and an honor to be the wife of a man of God. I love everything about the ministry. I love how involved we get to be with the many details in serving God’s people. I love that we get to be at church early and stay after church late. I enjoy the many facets of ministry I get to be a part of each week. I love watching my children learn to love people. But sometimes I get tired!
In Luke chapter 9, we find Jesus giving His disciples some instructions. He commissions them to go out and preach and heal in His name. He gives them instructions about their supplies and then sends them on their way. I do not know how long they were gone, but from the directions Jesus gave them, I believe it was a few weeks at the very least.
Later in the chapter, they return from their trip. Now keep in mind that this was not a vacation but a work trip. They had traveled. They had preached. They had healed. They had cast out devils. They had filled the needs of people everywhere they went.
They had traveled to multiple cities. They had stayed each night in someone else’s home. I imagine that by the time they returned to Jesus, they were tired from their work and from their journey. It was a good tired. It had been a fulfilling and rewarding time, but exhausting nonetheless.
Then we read in verses 10-11, “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him.…”
Jesus was going to spend some time alone with His disciples, but the people followed. These people had needs, and Jesus chose to meet those needs. There were so many needs that soon the day was gone. The disciples were tired and asked to send everyone home, but Jesus asked them to care for the people, and the famous feeding of the five thousand took place.
It is interesting to me that Jesus asked His disciples to pull off this dinner. Can you imagine coming back from a lengthy business trip and on the day of your return, you are asked to find food for five thousand men, plus women and children? Then you are asked to arrange their seating chart. Not only that, but you are asked to serve them all. And by the way, can you gather the leftovers and do the clean up?
So many times I feel like I have given my all. I am tired and feel I have done “enough.” So often on a Sunday evening after church, I am exhausted from the many areas of ministry that have literally taken up every moment of my day. I have been guilty of trying to make a quick exit after the last music practice on Sunday night. I am tired. I want supper and my favorite chair at home, but sometimes Jesus has more for me to do.
The disciples asked to send the people away. Their request wasn’t because the disciples were heartless. They were tired and ready to rest, yet Jesus said, “…Give ye them to eat….” (Luke 9:13) I need to slow down more and be sure that Jesus doesn’t have more for me to do. Instead of rushing to the next thing on my list and instead of hurrying to get home, I need to look around and ask Jesus what He would have me do. Is there a lady who needs a listening ear? A teen with a burden who needs an encouraging word and some prayer? Some weary young mother who needs a hug and a pat on the back? “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.…” (Luke 12:48) God has blessed each of us abundantly, and He wants us to turn around and help others.God wants to use us, and often it is in ways that we cannot imagine!
The disciples rose to the occasion. They did all that Jesus asked, and they were a part of one of the most amazing miracles.