Long haul flights take their toll. And because one is most likely travelling across different time zones the jet lag is massive. However, throughout the flight all manner of things have been put in place to minimise the discomfort of being in an enclosed space for a long time. Hot meals and drinks are served, games and other forms of entertainment like movies and music are also provided. Fortunately, one is also allowed to get some steps in or stretch from time to time while one is on the flight.

In the days of our Lord Jesus Christ, travel was mainly on foot. While animals like donkeys and camels were used to transport goods, kings and their armies rode on horses and in chariots. It was the case then that whenever multitudes came to listen to Jesus some of them walked from far. On one such occasion, not only had the people travelled from far they had not eaten anything. They had no tea or coffee breaks and no packed meals were served. Hear what Jesus said: “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way because some of them have come a long distance.” Mark 8:2-3 NIV. This is the story of how Jesus fed four thousand people on seven loaves of bread and some pieces of fish.

 The state of hunger can be likened to a state of being empty or of a famine situation. The solution to any such state is to be fed appropriately. There is no doubt that Jesus had taken care of their spiritual needs while teaching but food had a role to play and Jesus was not going to leave them to die of starvation. He gave them bread. (And fish too).

The way the world is right now it appears that there is a lot of hunger around. People are hungry for more than just food: They are hungry for companionship and compassion, for justice, for love, for safety and security and for the truth. In as much as Jesus gave them physical bread, Jesus Himself is the bread of life. Down through the ages, bread has been used for sustenance. When people travelled on long journeys, they never left home without bread. It was and still is a staple in most cultures. Jesus is our ultimate sustenance. For companionship He is our forever friend. “and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:20b NKJV He is with us always, He is the closest friend we could ever wish for. We can tell Him absolutely anything and He will never judge or condemn us.

Jesus is full of compassion and very caring, and we see that on full display in the gospels as He was always quick to be on the side of and attend to the needs of the last, the least, the lost and the oppressed. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 NIV

Have you been cheated out of or robbed of something? Let us not go about looking for ways to avenge anyone. That is not for us to do. Vengeance is the Lord’s and He is a God of justice. “For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”  Isaiah 30:18b NIV We must learn to commit things that disturb us or cause us anxiety to God and wait for Him. His timing is always perfect.

God is love! Need I say more? He gave us everything He had when He gave us Jesus. There is no greater love anywhere else. His love for us cannot be compared to any kind of love. Let us be grounded in that knowledge and let us bask in the lavish nature of that love. Knowing that we are deeply loved has a calming and therapeutic effect. Know the Father’s love and be at peace.

Today there are wars and rumours of wars just as the word of God said. This is creating anxiety, fear, panic and all kinds of trauma. But God is our fortress. He will protect us and shield us from harm. We must say that of Him rather than be afraid. “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him”. Psalm 91:2 NLT

The truth we need to know now is the truth that is the word of God. It will set us free from every anxiety.  The truth that says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28 NIV

Dear friend, I have no idea how far you have been travelling on this road of life. I do not know who your companions are. You might have lost some people very dear to you along the way. You might have been betrayed and disappointed too. But YOU are still here today. And you must not give up. Know that Jesus who did not allow the multitude starve to death will never leave you empty. He is working things out for your good. He loves you deeply and He will protect you on every side. There will be a little turbulence here and there but Jesus will bring us safely home. TRUST HIM!