His words to me were: “You are to love Danny because I first loved you. If you say ‘I love God,’ yet you don’t love Danny, you are a liar. Because if you don’t love your husband, whom you have seen, you cannot love Me, whom you have not seen. So I give you this command: If you love Me, you must—it’s not an option—also love Danny.
“Dear Anne, love one another, for love comes from Me. Everyone who loves has been born of Me and knows Me.”
Through His gentle words, God laid out three very basic principles about my love for Danny:
• Love comes from God.
• Those who are able to love others, including their spouses, are those who have been born of God.
• Those who are able to love others, even when the love runs out, are those who not only are born of God but also know God.
Although God lives within me, His love for Danny is available to me only in proportion to my knowledge of Him. God made this clear to me by saying, “If you are not able to love Danny, it’s because you do not know Me, because I am love.”
I realized that knowing God is more than just being born again, just as knowing my husband is more than saying marriage vows at the wedding altar. Knowing God involves an intimate, personal relationship that is developed over time through prayer, Bible study, obedience and being filled by the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment.
I knew God had given me the key for changing my marriage—for turning water into wine. The key was not to focus on my relationship with Danny but to focus on my relationship with God!
As I spent time with God, He would fill my life. And because God is love, His love would also fill me. Therefore, since God loved Danny, love for Danny would fill my life and overflow from Him, through me, to my husband.
It would be weeks before I could say honestly that the water had been turned into wine, but I was no longer frustrated, tense or worried. God gave me peace and joy within as I trusted Him to infuse my life and my marriage with His love.
When the shortage of wine first became known at the wedding feast in Cana, it seemed that Jesus would do nothing. But Mary knew He would act in His own time and in His own way.
I wonder what the servants were thinking as they obediently filled those jars with water. What did they think when He told them, “ ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet’” (John 2:8)?
What made them risk their reputation and their jobs to carry out His instructions? It must have been something about Jesus Himself that thrust them out on the limb of risk-taking obedience.
I can imagine all the servants, jostling for position to get an unobstructed view of their co-worker as he made his way to the master of the banquet with the pitcher of water. I wonder, as he began to pour, if his hand jerked, spilling a few drops, when he saw that although he had put water into the pitcher, wine came out?
The water had been turned into wine! And the new wine was the best (see John 2:9-10).
It was a miracle! But it was such a quiet miracle—nothing flashy that would have drawn attention to Jesus or announced that the Messiah had come. Just a quiet change that saved a young bridegroom’s honor and a newlywed couple’s marriage—and answered a mother’s prayer.
Can you imagine the thrill those servants experienced? It’s the same thrill I’ve experienced again and again as I have climbed down from a pulpit to a standing ovation, acutely conscious of the water I had put into the message—the interrupted prayer time, the scattered thoughts and the weak delivery. Yet wine had flowed out.
No one in the audience knew that water had gone in but wine had come out. And as I outwardly lift my hand in praise to God, inwardly I acknowledge that a quiet miracle has occurred.
And it’s the same thrill I get daily when I look at my beloved husband and remember the water—and the wine! Though my marriage is far from perfect, God’s love in me and through me for Danny is much deeper, stronger and steadier than the love I had on my own.
Are you desperate for a quiet miracle in your marriage or your ministry that would turn the water into wine? Then invite Jesus to come in, inform Him of the problem, and invest Him with full authority.
Jesus makes change possible even when the love has run out. He invites you to taste and enjoy the “new wine” as you thank God from your heart for giving you Jesus!
Anne Graham Lotz, the second child of Billy and Ruth Graham, is an acclaimed Bible teacher and the founder of AnGeL Ministries. She also is the author of The Glorious Dawn of God’s Story and The Vision of His Glory, both from Word Publishing. Adapted from Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz, copyright © 2000. Published by Word Publishing. Used by permission.
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