Wednesday, October 12, 2011

18 years old and a dirty truck... (no, this isn't a country song)

Loading up my brand new silver Ford Ranger to head back to Bible school in Tulsa, Ok after a quick visit with my family in Texas, my dad pulled me to the side and said, "You really need to clean-out your truck". At that time, I wasn't the "neatest" of individuals and I was not taking care of the truck as I should. I was 18, undisciplined, yet Loved the Lord with my whole heart. I responded to my dad with a... "yeah, yeah, I will". I hugged my family bye, got in my truck and headed out of the beautiful New Braunfels, Texas. As I drove off, the weight of being on my own again hit me like a ton of bricks. I began to cry as I thought to myself...How was I going to pay for rent this month? How would I buy groceries? Heck, how will I pay for gas to get back to school?! (Attending Bible school full-time and being a part-time nanny isn't usually a breeding ground for immediate financial success.) I made it back to Tulsa on fumes. The next day, I worked up the courage to call my dad and ask for some money to get me through to the next payday. I was embarrassed I hadn't handled my finances correctly and began to cry... He said, "Sweetheart, what did I tell you to do before you left?" Why was he bringing up cleaning my truck at a time like this? Could he not hear the tears? I needed groceries! I needed gas! I needed Ramen noodles! My dad re-instructed me to clean out my truck, then give him a call and we would re-visit my financial situation. Annoyed at his casual attitude toward my situation and armed with 2 heavy duty trash bags, (yes, it was that bad) I ventured to the truck and reluctantly began throwing things away. Shoes, taco bell wrappers, receipts, books, sweatshirts, cds, cups, boxes, money.... MONEY?!?!?! There was a large bill right there under the left doc martin boot! Wow! Where did that come from? Had that been there the whole time? I put it in my pocket and resumed cleaning. Make-up bag, brush, basketball, MONEY?!?!?! More money?!?!?! Another large bill! I began to clean faster. Bill after bill... the more I cleaned, the more money I found! My dad had known I needed the money and had hidden the bills inside my truck amongst the rubble. Everything I had needed was there the whole time. Here I am crying out to my dad for more, more, more! My provision was behind my obedience to what my father had asked me to do.

I am reminded of Jesus first miracle.
John 2
Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, DO IT.”
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

I don't know about you, but if I were the waiter, when Jesus asked me to fill the jars with water, I would think... Why is he telling me to do this? This won't work. This irrelevant to the problem we are facing right now. This is not very productive. Now, when he asked them to take it to the master of the banquet, they probably thought he was crazy. "So what's the plan? I hand the master of the banquet a cup of water, then what?" Mary was able to foresee the questions that would arise. So, she told them ahead of time, "Whatever He says, DO IT." Thankfully, the waiters did what Jesus told them to do. They filled the jars, and handed the cup of water to the master just as Jesus had said. The miracle in this is more than Jesus turning water to wine for the party. The miracle was the faith and belief that was sparked inside of people at that moment. Verse 11 says and his disciples believed in Him. Had the waiter not been obedient to do the seemingly insignificant task, the worst part would not have been a wine-less party. The worst part would have been belief systems that were not infused with faith and belief in the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes as believers we can be slow to obey the promptings of the Lord. Sometimes His requests seem insignificant when compared to the issues we are facing at that time. The leadings can seem irrelevant to the path we feel our dreams or purposes are on. Our job as followers of the Lord Jesus is not to ask questions, hesitate or to come up with excuses. Our job as believers is to obey. How foolish for us to pray to God for more, more, more... when our dreams, purposes, and seeing our prayers fulfilled is right behind our obedience. Let's quit crying out to God to bring our dreams to pass unless we can obey the promptings He gives us to lead us there. Do you have a "cup of water" He has asked you to pour? Whatever He says, DO IT. Whether He has told you to join choir, take your neighbor out for coffee, quit watching that tv show, spend more time in prayer, spend more time with your children, be nicer to your husband, quit eating too much, reach out to that "weird" lady at work, or something totally different... I again echo Mary when I say, "Whatever He says, DO IT." You never know what is on the other side of your obedience. Just as my financial breakthrough was behind my obedience to my earthly Father, yours could be behind your obedience to your Heavenly Father. More importantly than that, eternities could be effected. Behind those waiters' obedience to Jesus' odd, yet simple requests, was provision for the party, disciples belief in Jesus was solidified, and Jesus' miracle ministry began. All from pouring one cup of water.