There is a beautiful story in the second chapter of John that just speaks volumes to me.
Jesus had been invited to a wedding party along with his disciples, his mother ,Mary, was also there, it would seem that the groom or the bride was related in some way to Jesus and Mary, or maybe they were just great friends, anyway, while the party was at its rocking best, something terrible happened, the party ran out of wine, this was a disaster!
Distraught somebody ran to Mary, maybe she could help out , Mary, he said, we have run out of wine, what do we do? Can you help? Mary answered calmly, follow me, she took him to her son Jesus and said to the distraught host, ‘whatever he says to you do it’ Vs. 5
We know the rest of the story, by simply doing what Jesus asked them to do, the hosts received a great miraculous bailout and became beneficiaries of the first miracle that Jesus did in his public ministry (You can read the whole story in John 2: 1-11 )
This is what I want you to get, whenever we decide to obey the words of God miracles happen, they may not be in the category that we just read about but changes happen to impossible situations when we choose to believe and act on the word of God.
While faith is not explicitly stated it is implied by their obedience to the instructions Jesus gave, who would have thought of it filling the water pots with water and going on to serve this to the people? only to find out that in the course of their actions simple ordinary tasteless water had turned into sweet, invigorating wine!
Water is often used in scripture as a metaphor for God’s word, when it is poured into earthen vessels (which could also be used as a metaphor for the individual) and then served or ministered to one another, it comes out as sweet, invigorating and refreshing ‘wine’. The most simple acts of obedience to God’s word will produce the most amazing results, acts like love, forgiveness, patience, mercy, respect, submission, faith etc will bring miracles into your life on a daily basis.
The context of this story is a wedding, so I want to take the liberty to apply this principle to the marriage institution, experts say that more marriages are ending in divorce today than at any time in modern world history, sadly this is also true in the Church, where the divorce bug seems t have eaten deep. Even amongst many marriages that have not succumbed to the bug, there is a history of friction, strife and dysfunction that has made most homes run out of sweet wine of love.
I believe that many marriages in the Church fail because we do not follow the advice of Mary which is to simply obey the words of Jesus (or God), sure there are many real problems, issues that cannot be wished away or denied but it was so for these people at the marriage feast, they had a real problem, thank God they listened to Mary.
I believe that if spouses were to make it their earnest pursuit and desire to apply the word of God to their lives, stop trying to change their spouses, allow the word identify and heal the real issues in their lives, find their identity and affirmation in who they are in Christ and who Christ is in them, they will enjoy more secure and peaceful relationships.
From my experience and observation, many people come into their marriages with baggage from past family relationships or former relationships, wounds from their past that have not healed and these baggage and wounds affect and color their new relationships, sometimes innocuous actions on the part of their spouses trigger fears, negative emotions and reactions that hurt their homes. A key part of their healing would be for them to realize that they are the ones that need healing and not their spouses, because often times these people lash out at their spouses and blame them for actions.
However the word of God if acted upon will bring healing,whether physical,emotional or even financial, for example Jesus emphasized the need for forgiveness as a key to receiving healing, forgiveness implies recognizing the offense, facing up to it and deliberating choosing to release the perpetrator. The challenge with acting on God’s word is that we often have to do so in spite of how we feel.
Many people are ruled by their emotions and feelings and not by God’s word, our feelings and emotions are a part of who we are, we cannot deny them,however we were designed and called to walk by faith and not by our feelings..
Paul by the Spirit for example told us to be angry and sin not, so there is anger that is sinful and one that is not, sinful anger for example would include getting angry and staying angry contrary to the admonishment,’ don’t let the sun go down in your wrath’.
Jesus told us offenses would come but he also gave us steps for resolving them, one of the first things he said is that we should be proactive in resolving differences, we should be people that seek peace, not people who hold on to hurts with a false sense of righteous indignation.
Some Christians are so implacable in the name of being hurt , sure we can be hurt but we must be easily entreated, quick to forgive.
Jesus speaks to us through His written word and by His Spirit, and he will if we come to him asking for His help.
For those are willing to forgive but struggle to do so, let me encourage you to stay in the place of prayer, let the Spirit of God so fill your heart that His love breaks through in your heart.
Let the words of Mary ring in your heart ‘whatever he says to you do it’