Have you ever thought that God was moving too slowly to make something happen on your behalf? Could it be that there is more that you have the capacity to do, and God is waiting on you?
We are at a wedding ceremony of a man and a woman who have decided to commit to each other in holy matrimony. According to their tradition, the engagement lasted a year. They have been faithful to celibacy during this time. Family members and friends from the neighborhood are present to witness and experience this celebration. I can hear music accompanied by dancing. There is laughter, delicious food, and plenty to drink. Well, until…
The seven-day festivities are not over, but something horrible happens. The host runs out of wine. This is a crisis!
I am referring to John 2:1-8 (NIV):
"‘On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour has not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water;” so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so,’"
I have a question: “Mary, why did you think this was a good time to ask Jesus to perform a miracle?” I can hear her saying, “I didn’t ask Him to perform a miracle.” When I look back at the text, I see it for myself. Mary did not ask Jesus to perform a miracle. She only informed him of the status of the celebration. She had an expectation that Jesus had the ability to do something! In the NIV version of verse 4, Jesus said himself, “Why do you involve me in this?”
Sounds like a reasonable question, which leads me to another thought, so I invited myself into the narrative again. "Mary, why did you think Jesus could do something to help this family avert embarrassment and shame from the wine running out?" Mary gave miraculous birth to Jesus the Savior. How could she not believe He could intervene and do whatever was needed?
I appreciate Mary’s example during this crisis, which certainly could have had a different outcome. She wasted no time struggling to produce a solution of her own. Wisdom and experience told her to go to the Source able to do whatever was necessary during this time of great need.
This passage of Scripture may be familiar to us, but we should not allow the familiarity to cause us to minimize the valuable observations worthy of duplication in our lives when we desire to see a move of God in our crises.
Here are four I would like to highlight:
1. We Can Trust God to Do What's Best for Us
Sometimes we say we trust God, but we are uneasy and weary, wondering how He is going to answer our requests. Mary made her request known to Jesus and walked away assured that her request had been heard by Jesus and answered. Her actions demonstrate 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV):
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
I have been guilty of praying to God for help and then trying to figure out how He will accomplish my request. Have you ever done this? Then I recall Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP), which instructs us to: “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smoother [removing obstacles that block your way]."
2. Surround Yourself with Prayer Intercessors
Notice in the narrative that neither the groom nor the groom’s father asked for Jesus’ help. They were merely the benefactors of the request of someone in attendance. Clearly, Mary cared about this family and wanted this family to be spared public humiliation due to running out of wine. There are many examples of intercessory prayer in the Bible:
-Abraham prays for Sodom – Genesis 18:20-23
-Jesus prays for His murderers - Luke 23:34
-Jesus prays for us, God’s elect, as He sits at the right hand of God – Romans 8:34
3. God Expects Us to Do What He Has Given Us the Ability to Do
When our natural ability is depleted, God adds His super to our natural to bring forth the supernatural. Jesus instructed the servants to fill the pots with water. I applaud the servants for following Mary’s instructions, “Whatever he says do, do it.” The servants put their abilities into action. They could walk and carry the jars; either individually or by working together. They had the capacity to fill the pots with water.
Eric Johnson, in an online Theology Mix article, gives great insight into the amount of labor required of the servants. He describes how each pot held two to three firkins. Just one firkin is equivalent to almost nine gallons so two to three firkins meant each jar carried approximately 18- 27 pounds! Six pots, therefore, amounted to 162 gallons of water. I wonder if the servants expected to exert so much labor at the reception.
I imagine that it is possible that the servants internally thought that the work would be too great for them. Often, we hesitate to do something God has given us the inspiration to do because we think it will be too difficult. Truth is, we do not always know what we can do until we do it! Whether they realized it or not, Jesus saw within them that they had the capacity to complete the assignment. Just in case you are wondering, Jesus sees the same in you!
Jesus had the power to snap His fingers or speak and the water would have filled the jars. Instead of exercising His limitless power, He allowed the servants to take part in this miracle by using the ability they had within themselves. Have you ever thought that God was moving too slowly to make something happen on your behalf? Could it be that there is more that you have the capacity to do, and God is waiting on you?
4. God Blesses Us on the Way
While the servants were following Jesus’ directions, the miracle was happening. This scenario reminds me of the lepers that Jesus healed in Luke 17:12-14:
“And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, God shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”
When we are facing a crisis, God is aware of what we are going through. He does not always reveal upfront how He is going to handle the crisis. We only need to 1) do what God says, 2) find trusted prayer partners to intercede on our behalf, 3) do the part we have the capacity to do, and then 4) trust God to bless us on the way as we obey His directions. Then watch God move on our behalf. Crisis resolved!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/digitalskillet
Sandra Cobb is a grateful mother of three amazing children and grandmother of nine precious grandbabies. She is a certified Forgiveness Coach, speaker, and author of "Free to Forgive." She is passionate about sharing the love of God and testimonies of how faithful He is!