Trust & Obey // Doodling Through John 2

Trust and obey.

Aside from being lyrics from an old hymn (sorry. it's in my head too, now), these words are a powerful challenge to us from Jesus. 

In John chapter two, we read about that time Mary put Jesus on the spot. (Also known as Jesus's first public miracle.)

Before I get into the "trust and obey" part of this, can we (moms and dads) stop for a second to laugh with Mary? Haven't you ever been so proud of your son's or daughter's skills, and had such faith in their abilities, that you put them on the spot to "perform" in front of your friends? You know, when your baby starts clapping/walking/talking/whatever, you do not want to leave that room until everyone in it has seen what your exemplary child can do. And when your kid learns to clunk out Mary Had A Little Lamb on the piano/speak in another language/write in cursive/read at an advanced level/whatever, you do not want their skills to go unnoticed or unappreciated. Not because you're putting them on display (well, yeah, kind of), but because you want them to be praised for the awesome things they can do! You're not "showing them off" out of selfishness, you're sharing their amazing skills with the world because if you didn't, the world would suffer so badly from the loss of not experiencing the wonders of your child. 

Okay, well, while the world may not actually suffer if they don't know about our children's abilities to perform, the nations do suffer when they don't know of the power, grace, sacrifice, and love of Jesus. So, while Jesus may have sighed and looked upward when Mary put him on the spot there at that wedding, I understand. I get you, Mary. I do. Thank you for sharing Jesus with us. 

But when we really think about this in all seriousness, Mary was a little out of place. Jesus wasn't just her kid, after all. He is Jesus Christ, the Messiah; He is "God in a bod," as a former Pastor I know used to say. So when Mary put Jesus on the spot, you can also understand if/why Jesus may have sighed and looked upward before He told her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

Mary obviously had complete faith in Jesus, and she knew He could help the situation (and what better time to perform your first miracle in public than when they run out of wine at a wedding?), but was it in His timing when she called Him out? I mean, maybe it was -- we can't force Jesus into anything, after all; we can't make Him perform miracles for us. But what if God actually had a different plan that was even better than the one that ended up happening? What if there was an even bigger blessing in store for the people at this wedding than more wine (albeit the top-notch wine that it was)? What if -- trusting in God's will and timing for the situation -- what if Mary had held out from asking Jesus to perform this miracle, but rather asked Him in private to do His will, instead? What would have happened?

Then again, we read the parable of the stubborn woman who asked and persevered until she finally got what she needed from the judge. Perseverance takes faith, too! Asking for what you desire or need takes faith, too!

There is just as much faith in the waiting as there is in the persevering. 

Now let's check in on Noah. There are a lot of men of faith in Genesis, but for this I happened to read in chapter six, when God is giving good, old, faithful Noah the run-down of things to come. It could be argued that there is no clearer story of trusting and obeying than Noah's story.

After all, think of the crazy stuff God was saying (and of course you know I mean "crazy" in the sense of the world's view). God tells Noah to make this very, very specifically designed giant boat, and to put two -- male and female -- of every kind of earth- and sky-dwelling animal in it. You guys, that is a lot of animals. And then He expects Noah to explain to his family and to anyone who asks that he's doing all of this because, "God told me to. Oh, and by the way, you're all gonna die because God has had it up to here." Imagine that happening in this day and age! What would people say to a modern day Noah? What would you say to or about him? (Insert the unauthorized, unsponsored, and slightly unapproved-by-me plug here for the movie Evan Almighty.)

There is just as much faith in the waiting as there is in the persevering.

 

My study bible says that "obedience is the cornerstone to our faith in God." I couldn't agree more! We don't get to determine when or how Jesus will act or help in any situation. We just need to trust God's timing and will for our lives, and obey when He calls us. 

Simple, right?

YOUR TURN: When you think of complete trust and obedience, what areas of your life come to mind that could use a little more of each? ⤵︎

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