Technology rules our lives – you just can’t deny it. Cars can drive themselves, doorbells can catch criminals, and anyone can get anything their heart desires with a simple click on a smart phone. We humans seem to be in control of every facet of our lives! Ah, not so fast.
We often think of God as Santa Claus. Just hop up on his lap and give him your order. I’m sure God understands our shallow thinking, but we must realize that the King of the Universe isn’t Grub Hub. He’s not going to give us everything we want, when we want it.
Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to learn that. Remember when the family was invited to a wedding in Cana, and the wine ran out before the end of the reception? Apparently, Mary knew that Jesus could say, “abbacadabra,” and poof! No more problems for the wedding host. But Jesus had to remind her, saying, “What business is that of ours?” (John 2:4). In other words, it’s God’s will when to intercede and perform miracles. And yet, Jesus did meet that need. He responded, but not in a big, flashy way. He didn’t stand over the jars of cleansing water and in a big booming voice command the water to turn into wine. He didn’t call the guests over and make a big production of touching the water. He simply gave instructions to the servants. And the job got done even in this very subtle way. Nobody but the servants and those with Jesus knew what really happened. Jesus had turned the water into wine.
And that’s the point. This, the first of Christ’s miracles, wasn’t to alleviate the host’s embarrassment. It wasn’t to make the crowd happy. It was for the benefit of the disciples, because we read that it was then that they put their faith in Jesus. It helped confirm their conclusion that he was indeed the Messiah.
We oftentimes pray for something, and many of us never seem to get what we pray for. But the Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:27: “We don’t know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Sometimes what we get in answer to our prayer may be much bigger than we ever considered. Maybe the answer will come far into the future. Maybe it’s a blessing for someone else.
Despite what we pray for, the Lord loves us much more than we’ve ever known, and the most powerful answer will be to know Him better. Our plans don’t always succeed, because they’re our plans. Remember those huge jars of water at that Biblical wedding? Their purpose was intended for washing. God’s plans are so much grander.
What Jesus did at this wedding is a powerful analogy of his mission. Jesus came to bring about conversion: water into wine, sinners to saints. Jesus, the Living Water, became the new wine. And now, because of His transformation from God incarnate to Risen Savior, we who believe in Christ are cleansed of our sins, from the inside out. So whatever you’re praying for, rest assured that God hears. And the answer will come, just a “click” away.
The writer is the pastor at Sidney First Presbyterian Church.