We ate dinner on the patio last night, wrapped up in blankets watching as the clouds rolled over the hills, blanketing the orchards in thick grey clouds. The unanticipated storm is always a surprise; the quiet in the waiting to see what comes next. Will the storm hurt? Or will it make a way for new?
It’s that way with our hearts I think… a storm brings…stillness. Listening…watching…waiting. Is it fear or is it anticipation? Is it agony or hope?
I read about Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding. It’s a story I’ve heard so many times. But the trust his friends had for Him caught my eye in a new way.
Jesus’ mother told them to follow whatever directions Jesus gave them and they were ready and waiting. And when Jesus told them to fill six 30-gallon jugs with water, they did it. Simple instructions but no context. They had no idea what Jesus was up to.
We get to read to the end of the story. We know Jesus is up to something. We know He’s making wine. We get the 30,000 foot view of the mysterious way Jesus makes a way for good, for tenderness, to bless those around Him.
But his friends? In the moment, they had no idea. And they filled those heavy jugs anyway, trusting there was a reason for the request, waiting hopefully for what would come next.
I look at the mess in my own life or I read the news and I feel overwhelmed at the unknowns. Sometimes I feel sad and lonely and I worry about my kids and the future and I wonder how this complicated life is going to work itself out.
And when I get into that wild place where my thoughts run away from me, I’m trying to think about Jesus’ friends.
They were willing.
They were hopeful.
And that, right there, is what I trip over time and time again. I want context. I want big picture understanding before daily faith. I want to know its all going to work out before I take a leap.
Faith is a little blind sometimes and it makes you do crazy things that don’t always make a lot of sense. Faith means living in the mess and the unknown and even in the hurt for a while. Faith is acting on a belief without all the answers, neatly sorted out and organized.
It’s easy (for me) to forget that Jesus is right here with us, working all things out for good. Water to wine. Miracles everywhere.
Easy to be inspired and quite another to live it out. Especially when things feel so hard. But I want the simple faith of Jesus’ friends. I want to live a life, and especially in the hard places, with hopeful faith.