By: Maggie Meadows Cooper
I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! – Psalm 121:1
Over the years there have been many people and places that we turn to when we need help: Facebook friends, Dear Abby, Google, our moms. But so often, in spite of good intentions, their advice leaves us longing for more. Many times the advice hurts more than helps, and sometimes they are simply dead wrong. So why do we choose them? Convenience, proximity, or maybe a secret hope that they will tell us what we want to hear? All possible reasons that each of us can identify with, I think. But when Mary was faced with a problem and needed help in John 2:3, she turned to the only One who could be her Helper that day. The only One who is the Helper we all need: Jesus.
Mary, Jesus, and the disciples were attending a wedding in Cana, and the hosts ran out of wine. According to their culture and that time in history, they risked great humiliation. Mary called Jesus for help and told the servants to “do whatever He tells you.” So they did. And Jesus performed his first public miracle, turning water into wine. If only our problems were that simple to solve, right? But maybe they are. The truth is that their problem was resolved because of two simple choices, the same choices we all have to make:
First – Who will we ask for help?
“I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” -Psalm 121:1
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” – John 6:68
Our problems do not always have simple solutions, but the decision of who to ask for help should be the simplest of all. David, Peter, and many others knew Who to go to. It didn’t mean they didn’t fear or fret or doubt at times. But they made a choice to trust, to hope, to turn their hearts and minds and souls and spirits to the One who is able to do so much more than we could ever ask or imagine (Eph.3:20). And sometimes the help that the Lord offers may come in the form of Godly counsel from other Believers or counselors. It may mean waiting and doing nothing. But seek His will and wisdom and guidance first, and the rest will fall into place.
Second – Will we do whatever Jesus tells us to do?
“If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15
I sure wish this was easier to carry out. I know from experience that my heart wants to obey. I want to speak and act and love like Jesus would have me do. But carrying those things out with my earthly flesh that wants what I want when I want, that gets offended and hurt and embarrassed, that, truth be told, wants to rebel many times because of my feelings and judgments, is much easier said than done. And I find myself half-obeying many times. I may feel His nudge to forgive and actively serve the person who hurt me. So I agree to forgive…but don’t carry out that action of love and service. The “whatever” He tells me may seem unreasonable at times. Too odd or unjust. And I don’t know what people will think…so I choose to blend in with the crowd rather than risk looking foolish.
“Whatever He tells you…” Those servants risked looking foolish that day as they filled jars used to cleanse others with water, expecting it to somehow become wine. Noah, Moses, Esther, John the Baptist and so many others risked looking foolish because they agreed to do what the Lord told them to do. His directions take faith, y’all. They take extreme courage and a longing to please God rather than men. And in this world, that is so very hard. But the choice is ours to make.
Pray. Pray hard and seek the Lord and His will above all else. Avoid the temptation to seek earthly wisdom first. Then wait. And see how the Lord will help you when you choose to seek His approval above all else.
Forgive me for running to the people and things of this world for help before coming to you. Thank you for being my Helper and loving me in spite of my shortcomings. Help me remember Who you are and where my help comes from. Give me strength, courage, and a boldness to seek you and your approval above all else.
In Your Mighty Name,