The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Mark 8:11-12
In a way we argue with God to get what we want. As some kind of downpayment, we’d like a tangible sign that he’ll meet our “demands,” an “attesting miracle” to know for sure we’ll get our way. This is not how belief works.
Like leaven, unbelief permeates our very being and expands. It clouds our sight, dulls our hearing, and fades our memories of past heavenly provisions. But who doesn’t struggle constantly with belief? Remember the man who cried out to Jesus, “I do believe; help my unbelief?” (Mark 9:24)
Miracles are performed where there is unadulterated, unmitigated faith. Well, something close to that. But they’re also performed when we’re pained by our unbelief.
Imagine if the disciples, upon realizing they had only one loaf of bread with them, agreed that it was no big deal. Jesus was with them. But just off feedings of 5,000 and 4,000, they’re tied in knots over their next meal. Stop!! I do this every day! Time and time again the Lord provides, but with the passage of nearly zero time, I’m back fretting the little things. Worse, I worry myself silly about the exact same issue that was resolved by God’s hand short days before. Frankly, if I could add a minute to my lifetime for every minute of useless anxiety, I’d certainly live to 100.
I’ve got to constantly ask myself if I’m seeing, hearing, understanding and remembering what Jesus has done for me in the past, as I live life in the present. When I’m down to one loaf, no worries. The Lord is with me. Do I need a miracle? Why? The Lord is with me. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord is with me.
That’s why Jesus chided the Pharisees and scribes, and his beloved disciples. His presence is all that matters.