Mark 6:8-9 – These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic." (NIV)
I like living in an area where there is a lot of open territory. I enjoy camping and hiking a great deal. I saw in the paper one weekend recently that the Arctic Survival Training School recommended items to have in a personal survival kit. First there was the fire-starting material. On this list was "Metal Match", which is flint and steel wool, and also waterproof matches and some fire starter. Then they recommended one should carry some medical supplies, including sterile gauze, bandages, Ace wrap, sunscreen and aspirin. Next in order were cutting and bending tools. They suggested a knife, a saw, a sharpening stone and — something I never go without — an axe. One should also have some signalling supplies, such as a mirror, flares and a compass. Then the list added some items for personal protection: insect repellent, rope, and a space blanket.
These were some of the items suggested. I know that when I go out, I could face some dangers, and I should be prepared. I try to carry what I need to get by. It would be foolish to go out into the woods and not be prepared.
When Jesus sent the disciples out on the occasion recounted in today's scripture, the instructions he gave them sounded strange. They were not to carry much of anything on this trip. It seems almost foolish to go on a trip and take only a staff and the clothes on one's back. I do not think I would do this up in the woods.
What I remember most about this story is that the disciples had to put their trust in God. They had no resources and had to trust that God would care for them on this journey. As Christians, we need to remember that our trust is in God to care for us, and not in our own resources. It is God who watches over us and cares for us as we journey through our life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we put our trust in you to care for us. It is not our resources but instead your caring which carries us through our journey. May we always trust in you. In Jesus' name. Amen.