Have you ever been in a desperate situation or around people who were desperate for something? I’ve been to Haiti several times, and each time I’m there this Scripture of Jesus feeding the 5000 comes to mind. In Haiti it is not difficult to see desperation. They have so little, and are desperate for the basics of daily living–not luxuries, but necessities. One of the things we’ve done on our Haiti trips is to take people in the medical field to run a medical clinic for those who live in the village we serve. People come from miles away to attend a free clinic. There are doctors in the area, but very few can afford to pay for medical care. People come a couple of hours to wait in line to see our doctors. We have only been able to see about 200 people per day. If they don’t get there early, their child may not get the medicine he or she needs to get rid of a fever, or to breathe better. If they don’t arrive early, they might not get medicines that you and I can pick up just about anywhere. They are desperate! Being in Haiti has helped to bring this passage to life for me.

Jesus had just heard the news that his cousin, John the Baptist had been killed by being beheaded. He was desperate to get away and to process with His heavenly Father in prayer and with His disciples in conversation. But, the crowds were more desperate for a touch from Jesus. They followed Him. And when Jesus saw them, He was filled with compassion. He healed them and, as we learn in other accounts of this same event, He taught them spiritual truths. The disciples were desperate, too. They saw the crowds, they knew the lateness of the hour. They were aware of the food choices, and the amount of money available to them. They were desperate for Jesus to get rid of the people so they could eat. When Jesus says to them, “You give them something to eat,” my guess is that their desperation only grew.

Jesus met the crowd and the disciples at their point of desperation. He knew the anxiousness of His disciples. He knew the needs of the crowd, and Jesus knew exactly what to do. Jesus knows your needs too. He sees your desperation for someone in your family to be healed. He sees your pain and your desperation to be free of the burdens that weigh you down. He sees you, He knows you, and He meets you at the very point of your desperation with exactly what you need. Jesus knows that what you need most is Him, and He is right there with His presence in your life. His promise to Joshua (Joshua 1:5) is His promise to you–“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” You can trust Him, for He alone is trustworthy!

  • When have you experienced or witnessed a desperate situation?
  • When have you felt desperate to experience more of Jesus?
  • How has He handled your desperation?