The Cause of Spiritual Stupitidy

How is it that ye do not understand?

— St. Mark. 8:21

The lesson our Lord would have his disciples understand, the only one worthy of the miracle, was that God cared for his children and would provide for their necessities. This lesson they had not learned. No doubt the power of the miracle was some proof of his mission, but the love of it proved it better, for it made it worth proving; it was a throb of the Father’s heart. The ground of the Master’s upbraiding is not that they did not understand him, but that they did not trust God; that after all they had seen, they yet troubled themselves about bread. The miracles of Jesus were the ordinary works of his Father, wrought small and swift that we might take them in. The lesson of them was that help is always within God’s reach when his children want it. The Son’s mission was not to show himself as having all power in heaven and earth, but to reveal his Father, to show him to men such as he is, that men may know him, and knowing, trust him. It were a small boon indeed that God should forgive men, and not give himself. It would be but to give them back themselves. Only God, just as he is, God the gift, can turn the sorrow of men’s existence into joy.  Jesus came to give them God, who is eternal life.

Commentary

by James House

"The Lord knows what they need; they know only what they want. They want ease; he knows they need purity."
- Hope of the Gospel, George MacDonald

For those who have received and believe the words of the Gospel, one of the greatest sources of regular self-disappointment is the frustration of losing perspective.  Alas: we hear the words, we feel the spirit, we commit our minds and hearts to following His will - and then, some time later, we come to our senses and realize we have been drifting about in reaction to our worldly cares, our bodily desires, and the actions of our neighbors.  Again.

"Perhaps the greater part of the energy of this world's life goes forth in the endeavour to rid itself of discomfort."  
- Hope of the Gospel, George MacDonald

Yes, we desire ease - to not be burdened with the physical needs of this life, to have our weaknesses - our personal thorns removed straight-away, to have only lovely and loving people to interact with.  We "know" that God has put us in the schoolhouse of life to learn, grow, become.  Yet we wish to skip the process and have it given to us.

Christ came to reveal the Father.  He magnificently lived his life to that end.  Perhaps it is the seeming simplicity of the message and commands that make us impatient, and cause us to lose our vigilance (and focus).

"To the loving soul alone does the Father reveal Himself; for love alone can understand Him. It is the peace-makers who are His children."
- Hope of the Gospel, George MacDonald

Our part is to focus on love - to pray daily for and work diligently for greater capacity for love.  Our part is to meet the day by doing the duty of service to our neighbor that first comes in our way.  Christ's yoke is easy - we have learned that - in practice - again and again, why do we forget? "Whoever is diligent will soon be cheerful".

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
- Philippians 4:13

My prayer today is to be strengthened in holding my perspective, my focus, my true understanding, my diligence.