You’re not just an acquaintance to God. You’re not some face He sees in the crowd, and recognizes you as someone He should know… but can’t remember your name. No, God knows you intimately…He knows you inside and out…He knows every thought you’ve had, every tear you’ve cried, every prayer you’ve prayed. But most importantly, He knows your name. For you are that very special to Him. And in response, what can we say but, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”
In these scriptures we see the story of Jesus walking on the water and the disciples initial reaction. The disciples had been rowing for hours…fighting the rising winds and rough water. They were exhausted. With heads down, they were battling to just keep moving forward. So when Jesus approached the boat, fatigue and stress blinded them to be able to even recognize Jesus…irrationally, they imagined that it was a ghost rising from the waves. The same thing will happen to us when we fight the storms of life alone. Heads down, we power through, battling to keep moving ahead, but becoming more and more drained. It’s then that the combination of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion often leads to unfounded fears that overtake us. It’s also at that time, we suddenly come to the end of ourselves and finally cry out, “Lord, I can’t do this!”
Bottom line…you can’t trust people. They’ll say one thing, but do the opposite. They’ll promise things they can never deliver on. They’ll declare their love and then turn around and break your heart. Mankind is just that…humans with lots of flaws that disappoint each other daily. And that’s difficult when we demand perfection from those who can’t achieve it….for it leads only to disillusionment. And we need to be careful that disillusionment doesn’t cause us to become cynical, critical, and bitter. Bottom line…you can’t trust people – but you can trust God. You can fully trust God with your life, your future, your everything.
In so many struggles we can find ourselves totally defenseless…outmanned and outmaneuvered. And as the fighting escalates, we are worn down and demoralized by the toll it takes on us…mentally, physically, and spiritually. For when you are ill-equipped for battle…you have no chance. Why then do we think we have to do all the fighting, when God tells us He’s got our back? Spiritual warfare is His specialty, not ours. All He asks of us is to stand and watch Him work. For in Psalm 91:7-8 says, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes…”
Jesus loves us with an unconditional love…it has no bounds…no restrictions. But can we love each other in the same way? Maybe it can be in what we don’t do that can show the love of Christ more effectively to those around us. Instead of yelling in anger and frustration at the kids…we don’t. Instead of becoming upset and disappointed with a co-worker…we don’t. Instead of allowing discouragement and despair to break apart our marriage…we don’t. For sometimes the greatest way to demonstrate God’s love to others… is in what we don’t do.
Some later manuscripts show this verse as saying, “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Either translation is a tall order to fill. For we are a people who retaliate at the slightest notion that we’ve been wronged. Taking revenge and repaying evil with evil is touted and even celebrated in today’s social media. But this verse tells us to do the very opposite. And our example should be Jesus, who in I Peter 2:23 demonstrates, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” Taking the high road in the face of cruelty may be a clenched fist, gritted teeth type of grace under pressure, but allowing God to fight your battle is worth it in the end.
It was done mostly in obscurity…off in the background at a wedding in progress. Only a few people were even aware that the wine was gone. They included a few servants and the disciples of Jesus that witnessed this miracle of changing something as basic as water into something extraordinary as fine wine. Now the wedding party did benefit and were wonderfully blessed by His first miracle…but it was the people who actually saw it with their own eyes that were powerful and eternally changed by it.