“Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
– Erma Bombeck
It is almost as if our lives are not complicated enough…we want to worry about things that have not yet happened and even are rather unlikely to ever happen. Nevertheless, we bother ourselves with a whole string of what-ifs to busy our minds with what some call “being ready for the worst.”
Of course we would all rather respond than react to emergent situations, but what if we trusted God to provide the appropriate response in the eventuality of crisis? In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, he offers this advice: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Paul reminds us that “God has got our back.”
God is ready and even more creative than we are when it comes to solutions to life’s biggest problems. All we need to do is trust God and offer our challenges up in prayer and supplication, showing thanksgiving for God’s involvement in our lives.
I have been blessed on numerous occasions to personally observe God’s miraculous provision in all sorts of situations. From that experience I can say to you with great confidence…give it to God and see a miracle happen. Give it to God and get along with life. If you feel like you’re going to fall backwards, take a look back and know God is there.
Don’t worry, God says, “I’ve got you.”
“The Lord blesses when he finds the vessel empty.”
-Thomas à Kempis <adapted>
The second chapter of John’s Gospel reminds us of the story of the first public blessing of Jesus. It was a miracle, actually. Jesus and his disciples were attending a wedding and the wine had run out. Wine was very important at weddings back then and the celebration would last for seven days. The host was expected to provide enough wine for the entire time. Running out was considered a major social faux pas. So, Jesus offered up his first miracle blessing. He converted six jars of ceremonially clean water into 180 gallons of fine wine. Why? The gospel says so that they/we could believe.
In Jesus’ first and last miracles (the changing of water into wine and the raising of Lazarus), Jesus waits until all hope is lost. Jesus waits until people see no other way than to ask for His help. In the case of Lazarus, he waited an extra two days after Mary and Martha’s pleading for him to come and save their brother (John 11). Jesus changed water into wine. Jesus healed the sick and cured the lame. Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead and has performed countless miracles since; some by his own hand and many through the hands of others. All, so that you might believe.
We learn from books, we learn from others and we learn from experience. The best lessons are learned by engaging with the Holy scriptures. With “eyes to see and ears to hear,” we can learn from God. This I have learned…when your vessel is empty, and you have nowhere to turn… turn to Him, and He will bless you richly. And when the “new wine” blessing flows from the hand of the Lord, while it may not be exactly what you asked for or what you expected, it will most certainly be the finest you have ever known.
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