I've been studying the book of Matthew with BSF this year, and really enjoying it. I like it because it gets me out of the house, meeting people, but also because I've been able to do a little more in-depth study of a book.
Last week we talked about the passage in Matthew where Jesus feeds the 5,000. I had not ever really paid enough attention to notice its surroundings, but Jesus finds out about the death of John the Baptist, and then tries to get away by himself. He has just spent a lot of time speaking to crowds of people and no one seems to understand his teaching, not even his disciples.
Boy, could I identify with him there.
As a mother, I frequently find myself wanting a little break. A little retreat. 5 minutes of peace. Naps don't go well, Naomi is teething, Judah persists in his disobedience, or I'm just impatient for no good reason (the most likely). When I want a break and don't get it, my reaction is pretty much the opposite of Jesus' reaction.
When he saw the crowd that followed him, he "had compassion on them and healed them." He didn't sigh, or inwardly seethe, or get annoyed at the great swarm around him. And yet I find myself sometimes doing that with my own two children. Children I love. That are gifts from God. And yet Jesus compassionately healed, taught, and then fed over 5,000 people, most of whom he didn't even know.
I feel like especially lately I have really confronted by the selfishness in my own heart. This passage was like another huge arrow pointing at me. Jesus didn't hesitate when his attempt at a peaceful retreat was interrupted by the needy crowd, but instead saw the opportunity to serve.
I want to see the interruptions in my own life the same way.