Saturday, September 6, 2014

How Jesus’s Water-to-Wine Miracle can Help Us Today

I was reading in James E. Talmage’s book Jesus the Christ recently and ran across his commentary on the miracle when Jesus turned water into wine. 

If you remember Jesus was asked by his mother to do something about the problem at a wedding in Cana when it was found that the wine had run out.  Jesus miraculously turned water into wine that tasted so good that it was considered better than the stuff that was served first.

 I was struck by a verse that was quoted at the end of the story that kind of sums it all up.

This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. (John 2:11)

This brought me to wonder, “In what way did this miracle manifest Jesus’ glory such that his disciples believed in Him?”   And what kind of belief was it?  Was this a belief that whenever I need a miracle I can call Jesus and have him do it?  An even better question might be, “How did John (who recorded the story) hope that the story would help people to believe in Jesus’ atonement?”

At its foundation, this miracle was about how Jesus could make up for deficiencies in a miraculous way.  In short, it is about grace and Christ’s power to enable us.  It means when we see we are not enough to do something, we can call on Him.  It is the companion message to the call to repent and have our sins covered by Christ.  Faith in Christ is not just for sinners, but also for those Saints pressing forward, who can’t continue day after day without trusting God’s grace will uphold them.

Last Monday I had a humanitarian sewing project that I needed to work on and finish.  It was a little girl’s dress in pieces and it came with directions.  I hadn’t sewn in so long, and my head was just not there in Sewing Land.  I dreaded working on it, but I knew in my heart it would be good for me and it would give me confidence to work on another project that I wanted to do but had been afraid to try.  I was not enough.

So I prayed about it and told the Lord all about how I felt and how I wanted to want to do it and I wanted to do a good job.

And then I went to work on it.  Usually I’m pretty impatient about sewing, but this time I turned on some music and told myself I was going to take it slow and steady and (gasp) even iron the pieces. 

And I worked hard.

And everything went smoothly until I got to the point of sewing elastic to the inside of the sleeves.  My sewing machine acted up and I didn’t know why.  I think I must have tried at least three times to do one sleeve and each time I got wads and wads of thread tangled in the fabric and had to pick it all out.  (I’m sure those of you who are excellent sewers are probably shaking your heads right now.) 

Ordinarily I would have gotten frustrated and quit, or even just taken an extended break, but for some reason, this time my determination did not falter.  I remained absolutely undaunted.  I was about to try again for a fourth time and then happened to notice the thread in my sewing machine wasn’t threaded through correctly.   (I have no idea at what point it went wrong, since I know I threaded it right at the beginning.. but there you go.)

So I fixed that, and everything went much better.  The dress turned out So. Cute.

I can look at that experience and say I can see God’s grace helped me where on my own I would have quit. 

Grace makes up for our deficiencies so that we can meet our challenges.

Have you seen God’s grace in your life recently?


Suzanne Benner said...

I think some of those shapes in your picture are ten-sided, rather than eight. But interesting idea about the 8th day of creation. The idea that the week starts again after the day of rest... that we keep going, keep progressing. I like it.

Michaela Stephens said...

I think you meant to comment on the post Temple Architectural Symbolism: Octagons.


But yes, I think you might be right that some of those pictures are ten-sided. It is really hard to tell.

Suzanne Benner said...

Yes, sorry I got the comment on the wrong post. I was reading several, and although the right one was on my page at the time, I think the URL was this one. On *this* one, since we're here, I really appreciated the story of talking to God about not really being motivated to do something, but wanting to have that motivation... *wanting* to want to do it. :) I think that happens to all of us, a lot, and I feel like it is brave to face our real feelings but ask God to change them, rather than the mistake that we more often make, accepting the feeling over God.

Michaela Stephens said...

Yeah, once you realize that you can ask God to help you change what you want so that what you want is more in line with what He wants, it opens wider vistas for change and progression.
I see it as exercising a particle of faith.