What To Do When You Don’t You Don’t Know What To Do

There are crises that swirl all around us. Certainly, there are many with national and international consequences. But in this brief devotional, I want to focus on those that are smaller and more personal. I want to look at those that are in the context of our family life and other close social relationships. They may not be of global significance, yet they are important to us.

The Gospel of John’s account of the marriage feast at Cana will serve as the Biblical backdrop for my thoughts. Weddings were a major part of community life in the Hebrew culture of Bible times. In Jesus’ day, a nuptial feast was indeed a feast in which great hospitality was extended over time; no “two-hour reception and you’re out of here”.

Jesus and His disciples were in attendance at a wedding. Mary, mother of Jesus, was also there. She was apparently close to the people gathered at the celebration. Perhaps she was a family member or a kind of wedding consultant. At the wedding celebration, they ran out of wine. Mary was the first to notice. With the whole community involved, it would have been a crisis of epic proportions for the wedding party’s families to run out of wine. Embarrassment  and humiliation would spoil this joyous occasion.

When you are in the midst of a family or personal crisis, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Mary didn’t want anything to bring down the enjoyment. She knew what to do! Mary went to Jesus to inform him that there was no more wine. She knew Jesus was special and could help.

When Mary presented the problem to Jesus, He politely replied that His time hadn’t arrived yet: “Jesus said to her, ’Woman’, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4, NKJV). I do not believe Jesus’ reply was disrespectful. Jesus calling Mary ‘woman’ may sound a little harsh to us – maybe like He’s rebuking his mother. But by Mary’s response, we know this is not the case. She receives his response in a positive light, telling the waiters nearby: “Whatever He says to you, do it” (v.5).

We catch a glimpse of Mary’s heart in this account. She saw a need and took it upon herself to help this couple avoid any kind of embarrassment on their wedding day. So she turns to the one person she knows can help – Jesus. I wonder, where was Joseph?  In that patriarchal society, men were the heads of their household and decision makers. However, there is no mention of Joseph after Jesus was twelve years old at the Temple. Jesus, as oldest son, would be expected to fill that role if Joseph was absent. Mary knew what to do. She brough this crisis to Jesus.

When you are in a time of crisis in your life and are struggling with what to do, follow Mary’s lead. Take it to the Lord. The words of a beloved hymn say it well:

Leave it there, leave it there.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

(Charles Albert Tindley)

Finally, having taken the problem to the Lord, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

~ Brother Roy


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