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When the Wine Runs Out

Posted by cbuchwalter , 17 July 2014 · 1247 views

I have never really dreaded my birthday before this year. It has nothing to do with my age, honestly, but what comes after it. August. That is when I was hoping to fly to Mongolia. I had wanted to make it in time for Field Forum and be able to adjust before I begin teaching. Well that time is rapidly approaching and it does not look hopeful from my perspective. I still have a ways to go on raising monthly commitments to back up - I have never liked to raise money (who has?!) Even as a kid, I felt awkward asking anyone to buy find raisers for school, no matter how worthy the cause. This discomfort has been heightened, considering I am trying to raise money for myself. Yet I know that it isn't for me by any means, it is all about kingdom work. But there are times when it can feel quite personal.

Support raising is quite weighty. I feel a certain degree of responsibility to those who are investing so much toward the missions work I am joining. I feel embarrassed to have to ask for money. I feel indebted to those who have generously supported me. I feel insecure when I don't see the support coming in like I would hope.

But time and again God reminds me that it isn't at all about me. The money is His to start with. He is the one to spur on generosity in the hearts of others. It is no reflection on me and the timing is all happening on a much larger scale than I am aware of. And this is another way the body of Christ can work together. Yet it is still a hard pill to swallow. I have to let go of control and trust God. There is simply nothing more I can do.

I was reflecting on Jesus' first miracle in John 2. Since it was a wedding, the guests expected there to be wine. The celebrations were longer than typical American weddings, carrying on for days. Typically the best wine was presented first. When the wine ran out, Mary panicked and left Jesu to fix the entire situation. He took the most basic things - jars and water. He called upon the servants to fetch the water. And miraculously Jesus turned that water into the best wine.

I can relate to Mary- "the wine" or "the support" for me has ran out and I've panicked. All that Mary could do was say, "Jesus, wanna take it from here?" That's where I am at too. I can relate to the wedding guests- they had an expectation of wine being at the party and the best wine coming first. I have had a timetable and my own set of expectations as well. That the money would come in quickly and I could leave by the beginning of August. Jesus notoriously provides in His perfect timing, even when we are unaware that the wine has run out. I can relate to the servants- who were instructed to draw water. Imagine Jesus saying, "okay, grab those pitchers and fill them with water." The servants were probably thinking, "really?!? How does Jesus expect water to satisfy the guests?!" I find myself asking Jesus "how" and "really". Yet I know He is capable of doing more than I even begin to realize. I don't want to blink and miss the miraculous. If Jesus can turn water to wine, He can surely provide $1,000 a month. In the bible story, the miracle went unnoticed by most. But what He does in my life, as far as it depends on me, is all for His glory. I dare not take any credit for what has and will happen. I know my Father provides for me, and I want others to know that He is who He says He is. The Provider. Even in a dry season, I still trust Him. He has given me manna- my daily bread. And that is enough.

One final thought. As I have been studying Mongolian in preparation for the field, I found a worship song on YouTube. It's called Desert Song by Hillsong United, except it was a Mongolian cover. I didn't understand it, but was trying to recognize sounds. Tonight, I decided to look up the lyrics in English and was floored. This has been my heart and prayer. I want to share it with you.

"(Verse 1-2)
This is my prayer in the desert,
When all that's within me feels dry.
This is my prayer in my hunger and need.
My God is the God who provides.

And this is my prayer in the fire,
In weakness or trial or pain.
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold,
So refine me Lord through the flame.

I will bring praise.
I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice.
I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.

(Verse 3)
And this is my prayer in the battle,
When triumph is still on its way.
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ.
So firm on His promise I will stand.

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

(Verse 4)
This is my prayer in the harvest,
When favor and providence flow.
I know I'm filled to be empty again,
The seed I've received I will sow."


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