Friday, April 8, 2016

Always the Best

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’

‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’  His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’

They did so, 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 2:1-11 NIV)

When my wife and I were looking to buy a new house, we looked at hundreds online, did countless drive-bys, toured several dozen homes, and made two offers.  Nothing worked out.  And as we look back, we are so glad it didn’t.  That is because we consider the house we did eventually buy as the best house for us.  It is big enough and close enough to campus to allow us to host student events, it is in a wonderful neighborhood, and it is now appraised for far more than what we paid for it. 

But in the middle of the search process, our frustration grew.  We were always praying for the right house, but with our increasing weariness, we more inclined to settle.  I am thankful we kept praying because I believe God understood our fatigue and discouragement and did not allow us to experience the consequences of a bad decision.  The houses on which we made offers paled in comparison to the one in which we now live.  No way we could have used those homes for ministry the way we are using our home.

Life-altering decisions, like buying a home, choosing a spouse, or a career can produce a lot of anxiety and often that anxiety propels us into making poor decisions.  As a single man in my late 30’s, I made a very poor decision in marrying my first wife.  Rather than covered in prayer, that decision was made out of desperation, from fear that life was passing me by and in hopelessness that I might never get married. And I paid a very high price.  The second time around was different. Ever seeking the Lord, several relationships failed to materialize into anything serious until I met Marianna.  And she turned out to be the best for me.  I can’t imagine a better woman to be my wife!

When I read this story, what jumps out at me are the comments from the master of the banquet, who tastes the wine and declares it “the best.”  When Jesus was sought out to resolve the wine shortage dilemma, He could have done what the master obviously expected—provided cheap wine because few would have even noticed.  Rather, He provided exquisitely tasting wine, which no doubt today would have won top awards for its quality.  

What this tells me about Jesus is He doesn’t skimp when it comes to His children.  He wants us to have the best.  But what I also know is He will allow us to experience much less if we are determined to have our way.  That is why in making life-altering decisions, it is so important always to seek His will in the midst of the process.  If we truly desire to follow Him, then He will not allow our decisions to end badly.  

So, today, if you are in the midst of making some important decisions, cover those decisions in prayer.  Ask for the Lord’s will and not just your own.  Trust that the Lord is good and wants what’s best for you.  Be confident that if you are truly seeking Him, He won’t shortchange you. Like the wine He provided for the wedding guests, it will always be the best.

© Jim Musser 2016

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