Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Does God want to give us designer trainers?


twixt downs and sea - James 5 13
The wedding at Canaan. I had always heard it used as a kind of illustration that Jesus was human, and lived as one of us. Sunday, I learnt what this passage teaches about prayer and provision.
I have heard of churches that preach that God wants all Christians to be as rich as Abraham. And that if you want a Rolex, pray and God will give it. I’ve been taught differently so on Sunday I was surprised to hear my Pastor suggest  that maybe God does want us to have designer trainers.
We are an older congregation. Our intercessions tend to be for healing, comfort, career decisions. I doubt we have a designer trainer between us. Although I have brought up teenagers, they’ve never asked for designer trainers, Hollister shirts, popular games or this year’s mobile phones. I always felt that seeking after those kind of worldly things was wrong, unchristian.
The lesson was John 2, the Wedding at Canaan. The wine ran out on the last day, pretty trivial stuff, a social embarrassment. But to God, all things are trivial, as much our concerns about unemployment and illness  as a young lad worrying he won’t be accepted without the right trainers. Sometimes we have so much awareness of God’s greatness that we lose sight of the fact that he wants a close relationship with us. So close that he counts the number of hairs on our heads. If we hear a eight year old praying for sunshine on their birthday, we think it’s sweet. But as legitimate their prayer as mine for provision for my family because God cares about all our concerns.
In John 2 we see how Mary models to us how to intercede. She tells Jesus the problem, `then has the faith to leave it in his hands. How often do we ask for what we see as the right solution, even as we ask for God’s will to be done. Henry Nouwen, a Dutch priest writes that when he was at a loss for words he would pray “Lord, they have no wine”.
The final message from this scripture – do we limit God by not asking?  James 5 says “ Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” and “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.“ The provision at Canaan was not just enough of the same wine it was over abundant, overflowing provision of a better quality than was expected. This reflects back to Psalm 23 “my cup runneth over”, showing Jesus is the Good Shepherd. It points forward to the Communion cup, and to our salvation. So as God more than meets our needs, we can see that it has a cost.
Still not sure about the trainers. But as a parent, if my child was unhappy, bullied, unaccepted and I could make it right, I would probably do anything I could to help. If they asked…
linking with lovely Michelle and Jen.

3 comments:

  1. Oh girl, so needed to read this today, Thank YOU!! God laid something on your heart and you obediently wrote about it,what a blessing it was to this girl.
    So all I need to do now is ask.

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  2. I was raised in one of those churches that taught the whole health/wealth message. But I think what you are saying is true--God cares about the small, seemingly trivial things. I think sometimes in my diligence to avoid bringing too much materialism into the Gospel, I forget God's goodness and graciousness. Thanks for sharing. It's a wonderful reminder.

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  3. Thank you both for your comments and encouragement.I have been known to pray over my washing machine because it feels like I 'need' it which seems wrong when some people have so little.

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