Monday, March 18, 2013

Wanna see a Miracle?

Burning bush.  Parting of the Red Sea.  Angelic appearances.  The walls of Jericho.  The resurrection.  All were crazy awesome miracles.  And you and I didn't get to see a single one of them.  Just once, wouldn't it be awesome to see a miracle?  Why did Moses, the prophets, and the apostles get to have all of the fun?  It would be amazing to actually see God doing something real in my life.  It would be a huge anchor for tough times when doubt creeps in.  But it seems that spotting a miracles is harder than finding Waldo in those old picture books.

Which is harder: Spotting a miracle or finding Jesus in this biblical Where's Waldo pic?

Are you familiar with the miracle at the wedding of Cana when Jesus turned water to wine?  At the wedding reception, the banquet hall runs out of wine.  Talk about a buzz kill.  So Jesus' mother Mary asks Jesus to do something about it.  At first, Jesus doesn't really want to but mom gets her way.  He heads over to the entrance of the hall and finds these huge jugs of water that were there so the guests could wash their hands when entering and leaving.  He turns all of that water into wine.  The servers that went with him took the wine and gave it to the master of the banquet who thought it was the best wine he had ever tasted.

Sound familiar?  But here is what I want you to notice.  Look at these three verses.

...and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. - John 2:9-11

There were lots of people at this party, maybe over a hundred.  Jesus performs a miracle that every single one of them benefit from.  They all go on to enjoy the wine.  Yet only a handful of people even realize that something amazing has happened.  Most of them have no idea that God has just done something extraordinary.

I wonder if this is true of us today.  Is God at work all around us and we just miss it?  Is He doing things in the day to day and we enjoy the blessings without realizing where they came from?  I think so.  And here's what I learned from this passage.

The Servants: Sometimes when God does something, He does something colossal right in front of you and there is no hiding it.  Sometimes He parts a sea, raises the dead, or turns water to wine.  The servants didn't ask for a miracle and they weren't looking for one but God gave them one anyway.  God's gracious like that.  If this has happened to you, great!  If it hasn't, don't sweat it, you're in the majority.

The Master of the Banquet:  Sometimes when God does a miracle, we give the credit to someone or something else.  The master of the banquet drinks the miracle wine and praises the groom for saving such exquisite wine for last.  I don't blame him for making the assumption, it's a pretty logical one, but he gives credit to the wrong guy.  Are we ever like that?  Do we thank luck or karma instead of God when something great happens to us?  Do we pat ourselves on the back for our own hard work when God graciously provides a job, promotion, or good grade that we actually didn't deserve?  How often do we give God's credit to others?

The Guests:  Sometimes when God does something, we don't even notice at all.  Most of the guests at the wedding kept drinking, eating, talking, and having a great night.  They were completely unaware there was a wine shortage, let alone a miracle to make more!  We can go through life enjoying all of our blessings but never even considering where they came from or how grateful we ought to be.  

The Disciples:  Sometimes when God does something, we have to be paying attention to notice.  The disciples were likely seated with Jesus at the banquet.  But they didn't accompany him when He got up to perform the miracle.  Jesus didn't call them over and say, "Watch this!"  It seems from the story He left them at the table and went to the entrance without them.  Yet the Bible says they saw His glory and believed in Him.  Why did they get to see this miracle?  Because they were watching Jesus.  They didn't take their eyes off of Him.  When He got up and walked to the door, they kept watching.  They were paying attention and wondering what He was going to do next.

I think God is constantly at work in our lives.  He's not doing things as huge as parting the Red Sea in your daily life.  That's not what I'm saying.  But I do believe that He is blessing you daily, providing wisdom daily, speaking through His Word daily, answering prayers daily, and so much more every single day.  We need to learn to be like the disciples.  Keep your eyes on the lookout.  When something unexpected and good happens, pause for a second and say, "Thank you God!"  Every day make it a habit to ask God what He is up to and what He wants you to see and learn today.  Keep your eyes on God, and just like the disciples, you're going to see Him doing some amazing things.  May God bless you and surprise you as you watch!

P.S.  I've actually seen God do some big miraculous things in the past.  Nothing quite as big as the Red Sea or resurrection, but big enough that I'd call it a miracle.  However, those bigger things are somewhat infrequent in my life and I've found it's important to learn to watch for the smaller day to day things God is doing.

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