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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Just the Facts, Ma'am

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 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 is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. - John 2:1-11

I love the example Mary sets forth in this familiar story.  When she heard the servants whispering about running out of wine, Mary could have responded in so many different ways.  She could have worried.  She could have tried to solve the problem herself.  She could have planned and schemed.  But she didn't do any of those things.  Instead, she did the only right thing.  She took the problem to Jesus.

Notice the simplicity of her statement.  "They have no wine."  That's it!  She didn't whine (get it, whine about the wine, sorry). She didn't complain.  She didn't tell Jesus to do something or even ask Him to do something.  Furthermore, she didn't demand that Jesus explain to her how He was planning to solve the problem.   In other words, she didn't do all the things we're prone to do when we take our burdens to Jesus.

Come now, admit it.  I know you're not that much different than I am.  We take our cares to Jesus and do far more than simply state the problem.  We beg and plead.  We instruct Jesus on the proper way to solve our current dilemma.  We ask to see His blueprints to ensure they meet our approval.  Then we walk away and try to solve the problem ourselves, afraid that if we leave it in Jesus' hands either it won't be solved or it won't be solved the way we want it to be.  Am I right?

Mary left out all the fluff.  She displayed complete trust.  She took the problem to Jesus and waited for His response.  Only after He had responded did she act, and that act was not the solution to the problem but the preparation for the solution.  Mary expected a miracle.  She expected the situation to be remedied.  And in her great faith, she made ready for that event by instructing the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.

It reminds me of the story of two farmers who prayed fervently for rain.  Both prayed, but only one of the farmers went out and prepared his fields in anticipation of that rain.  Which one truly had faith that God would answer his prayers and meet his need?

Life is full of problems.  There's nothing we can do about that.  What we can do, however, is determine to deal with life's problems by following Mary's four-step formula:

1. Take it to Jesus.  
2, State the facts.  
3. Wait for the Master's response.
4. Prepare to receive the blessing.

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