Walking on water is spectacular. Raising the dead? Out of this world. Feeding thousands from a sack lunch? Set loose that kind of power and say goodbye to The Golden Corral and Old Country Buffet.
The miraculous certainly peaks my attention. But one particular miracle of Jesus – his turning water to wine – has seemed rather…dare I say, mundane. Lack luster. Dull.
Why my blasé attitude? I’m not sure. But trust me, I wrestle with how I tiptoe the rope of sacrilege with my thoughts. Perhaps my Baptist heritage is getting the best of me. Any mention of alcohol sends an instinctive jolt through my system.
In my reading this week, I found myself back at the water to wine story. Knowing my biases and baggage, I resolved to let the Spirit speak. To be open to fresh observations. To be excited about an account of something truly amazing.
As I reset my expectations, God was not slow to infuse my mind with joy for this seemingly average miracle (is that an oxymoron?). I marveled anew at Jesus as He quietly revealed His divinity. He was obedient and gentle. Decisive, yet humble. In the midst of a crisis, I saw my God give generously. Joyfully.
This theme of the unexpected was, for me, a surprising revelation. The bridegroom did not expect his wine to be depleted before the party ended. And he surely did not expect to find his reserves replenished with more than one hundred gallons of wine – and not just any wine, an unexpectedly delightful wine. Most unexpected was the quiet expression of divine power as the Son of God let the world taste of glory.
This rolling sequence of unexpectedness gripped me. In the simplicity of this no longer “boring” miracle, God met me in a way I did not expect.
He led me to ponder opportunities I’ve missed to experience Him because I expected something predictable. Ordinary. Repeatable. Rational. For sure, I expect God to be in the struggle of cancer. But how about when I’m mowing the lawn? I expect God to be present when I pray. Shouldn’t He also be in the baking aisle at the grocery store? Or in the conversation with the barista? Or when putting on band-aids? Or when helping my child “solve for x?”
Jesus didn’t need to turn that water into wine. And the wine didn’t have to taste spectacular. Mediocre would have been fine. Expected. But God is not predictable. Yes, He keeps His promises. We can fully trust Him. But when I box God within the limits of my experience I exclude the unexpected – even miraculous. I dampen my receiving “every spiritual blessing.” (Ephesians 1:3) Blessings much better than fine wine. Blessings that present themselves unexpectedly.
God is mysterious, yet sovereign. He is wonderful. He is grace and truth and light and love. He is humble, yet holy. He gives blessing upon blessing because He is good. And it appears He likes a good wedding feast.
I want more of Jesus. To drink deeply from His love. To expect the unexpected.