Tuesday, July 5, 2011

John 2, and just doing it

Just do this.

I am happy to say that I have been keeping up with my real reading of the Gospel of John! Honestly, I now find so much that is noteworthy and of value in every single chapter. It obviously makes a lot of difference when one consciously chooses to read, indeed study, with sincere concentration.

I'm doing two chapters a day, as each chapter is fairly long, and I don't want to feel overwhelmed, and start cutting corners.

In Chapter 2, Jesus performs his first miracle, turning water into wine:

"And when the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no more wine!

Jesus said to her, [Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? [What do we have in common? Leave it to Me.]...

His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it" (John 2:3-5).

Wasn't Mary great? She didn't get all negative, or freak out. She knew who to go to when there was a problem. And she had no doubts that Jesus could, and would, take care of it.

"Just do it". That's supposed to Nike's nifty tagline right? The line, coupled with images of powerful athleticism, basically implies that with Nike's products, we average folk can be as awesome, overcoming odds and opponents, emerging triumphant, whether in sports or in life -- we just need to "do it" -- no questions, no reasonings, no fear or dread.

How wonderful if we really lived our lives like that -- following God's directions, without questions, reasonings, fear or dread, holding fast to our faith and confidence that God can and will help us overcome all our odds and opponents.

There'll be times in life where we're out of wine, or hope, or joy or peace -- but thank God we have a Saviour who cares about us and wants to help us. It may not always be in the most expected or conventional way -- Mary might perhaps have just expected Jesus to pop out to the nearest store -- but He will help us.

"For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]" (
Heb 4:15-16).

Isn't that wonderful?

Truth is, I've been facing some things lately and, unfortunately, have not been having a "Just Do It" attitude. It's been more along the lines of, "O no, this is terrible, there's no wine, my whole party is ruined", embellished with, "Poor me, why don't I have wine, do I even have water, how will I get through this".

Writing this now, I feel the Holy Spirit reminding me again of all my blessings, and how God meets all my needs, without fail.

"Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God" (Ps 43:5).

Like the servants who obeyed without question,
who exerted and applied themselves and filled the stone pots with water, I will keep pressing on in faith.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "... humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully".

When we're out of wine (or hope, or joy or peace), it's easy to fall prey to discouragement, despair, hopelessness and depression. But verses 8 to 9 remind us to resist the devil and be firm in faith.

"Whatever He says to you, do it". Thank God for your party, thank God for your water and your orange juice and your coffee and your hot chocolate, even if you don't have wine. But don't forget too -- through conviction and real experience -- that God works miracles in your life continually, that He cares about you, and His plans for your life are good.

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