“I will believe it when I see it,” is a phrase that echoes through our heads a lot, even if we don’t speak the words. We are used to people and organizations overcommitting and over-promising things that many of us have developed a skeptical, cynical side towards these sorts of claims.
When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” – John 2:3-5, ESV
The passage John 2:1-11 contains the first miracle of Jesus, when He turned water into wine at the wedding feast. Like is the case with most miracles, it started with a problem: the wedding had run out of wine. Given that weddings in that time and age were community affairs and that running out of wine would have been an embarrassment for the bridegroom, Mary decided to act. What did she do? She found Jesus and she informed Him of the problem.
What I find interesting is the fact that she came to Jesus with this particular problem. Jesus didn’t have a vineyard, much less a stash of wine on tap. It isn’t like the family had a lot of money for Jesus to procure the wine necessary. Yet Mary approached Jesus and left the problem with Him.
What is even more interesting is Mary’s response after Jesus gave what would appear to be a negative answer. It isn’t, for He’s pointing out that there is a timetable for His ministry on Earth and that He is ultimately in control of that timetable, not anyone else. She might be His earthly mother, but He’s still the One who makes the call. Hence the reference of “woman” (a very polite form) and not “Mom” or “Momma” or any variant of mother. Despite that seeming rebuff, Mary ordered the servant to obey Jesus. She acted with complete trust that He would solve the problem. Her faith in Jesus was rewarded.
When it comes to our petitions before God, we cannot take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude. We might not say that’s what we’re doing, but many times it is. This isn’t to say that we should automatically assume God is going to deliver whatever we ask. More on that tomorrow. However, if we’re following His lead and we know what we’re asking for is what He would ask for then we need to act in accordance with the belief that God is going to deliver. When we don’t, we are very much the double-minded man James described in his epistle.
God is trustworthy. God hears the prayers of His people. Put these two things together and we should come to the conclusion that if we are asking according to what God would ask, we can trust Him to bring it to pass. How much more fulfilling our prayer lives would be if we would act accordingly on this simple truth!