For a long time, I’ve felt guilty praying for and praying about things that were not spiritual necessities. I wasn’t good at inviting Jesus to solve my problems.
Somehow, a long time ago, I began to believe that God is only interested in uber-spiritual requests. I thought I had to know how God could use *blank* for his kingdom before I could pray about it.
And then I read about the time Jesus attended a wedding.
Jesus, his disciples, and his mom Mary are at a wedding. Celebrating, probably, having a grand ol’ time. Then Mary comes to Jesus with a problem. There is no more wine.
She could have complained to the other guests about the problem, but she didn’t. She could have mentioned to the bridegroom or the master of the feast about the lack of wine, but she didn’t. Goodness, she could have taken steps to solve the problem herself, but Mary doesn’t go off to the store or take up a collection. She goes to Jesus and tells them they are out of wine.
And at first, Jesus tries to stay out of it. He tells her it’s not time yet for him to start getting involved, doing miracles. Mary doesn’t really listen, she seems to assume he’ll solve the problem anyway. She tells the nearby servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do, and then we don’t hear any more from dear old Mary.
But that’s okay, because Jesus is up to something now. So much for it not being time yet! He has the servants gather over 120 gallons of water, then take some of it to the master of the feast. And somewhere between the water being in the jars and it being on the master of the feast’s taste buds, Jesus transformed it into some of the best wine that man had ever tasted.
The disciples saw all this, and believed in Jesus.
Mary doesn’t come to Jesus because she sees how he’d use it to help his disciples believe in him. She brings the problem to Jesus because it’s a problem.
And yes, when Jesus solves it he uses it for his glory, but that’s up to him. Figuring out how to advance the kingdom was Jesus’ job, not Mary’s. All she needed to do was invite Jesus into the solution.
The Little Things
It’s always left an impression on me that Jesus actually steps in and solves the problem of the wine.
At first he tells dear old mom that it isn’t his time yet. He’s not ‘supposed’ to start doing miracles yet. But then he does the miracle anyway.
So he started doing miracles earlier than he’d anticipated– to provide wine for a wedding, not to heal someone who was deathly ill, or bring someone back to life who would lead a nation to salvation, or feed a multitude of hungry people who have no other means to eat.
The wine wasn’t a necessity, but Jesus provided it anyway.
All because he was invited into the problem.
Mary invited Jesus into the problem simply by telling him about the problem. She confided to him the problem of the wine, with the expectation that he would do something about it.
Mary knew enough about God and her son to believe this was the sort of thing Jesus would fix. She really thought that the lack of wine was something God would want to fix.
I tend to look at my problems and assume God’s got better things to do, so I try to fix the problems myself. Which I suppose is ‘fine’, but it’s not ‘the best‘– because God knows, and God cares, and God wants to be involved. He came to earth in the flesh, for crying out loud, I think he’s made it obvious he wants to be involved.
So I’ll take a few leaps this week, I’ll turn to God when I see a problem. I’ll tell him what the issue is, and I’ll listen. Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them, and I have to be willing to do the same. More on that another week!
In the meantime, leave a comment and tell me about a time you took a problem to Jesus, however big or small, and he solved it!
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