May 11, 2012

Tell Him, then trust Him

Yesterday, my husband told me of a problem our son is having regarding his upcoming wedding. This is beyond me, so I thought of the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. I began trying to pray like Mary. She simply told Jesus the problem and trusted Him to take care of it. Imagine my surprise at these verses in today’s devotional reading!
When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:3–5)
Mary’s faith was such that she didn’t tell Him how to solve the problem; she merely presented it. I was doing the same thing for our son’s wedding. Even though I usually have some “good ideas for God” (how preposterous), I have none for this one. Yet simply asking makes for a short prayer (as in “Help!”) and often those short prayers don’t seem like enough, as if I think I must nag at God? 

Of course, the answer came at that Cana wedding, but before it did, some obedience was required. Mary had to continue to trust Jesus with the problem, even though He told her it was not yet the time for miracles. The servants had to do what Jesus said, even though it seemed silly, even dangerous, to fill stone jars with water and take them to the master of the feast. It must have seemed sillier still for the host to draw out some of the water and taste it. These jars were normally used “for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons” (John 2:6). This could be the equivalent of filling a bathtub with water and then telling the wedding host to have a sip.

Yet Mary obeyed, and the servants obeyed, and even the wedding host obeyed, and they discovered how Jesus could change the ordinary to extraordinary, even produce the best wine of the day. 

I’m thinking that having God direct me to this passage after my prayers for our son’s wedding problem is astonishing enough. Will He do more? Will He ask me to do anything else? Are there others who need to obey so that this contemporary wedding problem is solved as that ancient one was solved? Time will tell. For now, He invites me to trust Him.

Florence Nightingale said, “If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all: and I have never refused God anything.”

How important that the servants of the Lord do whatever He tells us!

Lord, in the hard work of downsizing, and of preparing for an anniversary celebration (tomorrow for my sister and brother-in-law), and of getting ready to move, and of coping with a couple of family trials concerning both my brothers, and of trying to adjust to other bad news too complex to write about, this wedding problem is testing me too. Yet You know what it is, and You know what to do. In any of these trials, if You have a job for me, help me to be like Mary, and Florence Nightingale and all other faithful servants. May I trust You, but also never refuse to obey You.

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