Something occurred to me as I read this passage for the umpteenth time. Jesus did not expect the disciples to come up with the solution. He wanted them to come to Him.
Back up in Mark 6:31, He was leading his disciples to a secluded place so they could rest, get something to eat, and be recharged to start back up again. But, the people found out where they were going and beat them there. So, there was no chance to recharge. The disciples needed to learn something that I also desperately need to learn – He wanted them to learn to come to Him in the midst of exhaustion. He wanted them to seek His guidance when they were tired, frustrated, and totally out of options. He didn't want them to dig deep in their bag of ideas or even their piggy banks – He wanted them to realize that He already had a plan.
When challenges face me in times of exhaustion, I so frequently come to the Lord out of grudging desperation saying, “Lord, this is the only plan I've got, and it seems a bit ridiculous, but if that's what You want me to do then I guess I don't have a choice.” I don't come to Him with openness, ready for Him to strengthen and take care of the solution as well. I come to Him in defensive griping. There is no rest in that. There is no restoration. There is only more work.
He has a plan, and it is good. He has energy to give to accomplish the plan. And, He has every provision to accomplish all He wants to accomplish. I am challenged to make sure that I come to Him truly seeking the plan that He has – no defensiveness, no preconceived ideas. Just a hunger to do it His way.