Have you ever used this phrase before? “It’s just not the right timing.” While often times that statement is spoken from a place of having minimal margin due to a busy season, there are also times when we use it as an excuse or a “diplomatic” way to say no to something we just don’t want to do. I knowI have used that statement in my own life instead of simply saying no to things I don’t want to do. But let’s take it a step further. Have you ever looked back at one of those moments and felt like you missed out on something you should have done?
In John 2 we get to see Jesus perform His first miracle. He’s at a wedding with His mother and disciples when the wine runs out. Jesus’s mother alerts him to the situation in a way that would suggest she’d like Him to do something about it. His response is one that is, in my opinion, somewhat unexpected. In John 2:4 he says, “Dear woman, that’s not our problem… My time has not yet come.” I love how Mary, His mother, responds in verse 5. “But His mother told the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.'”
From what I’m reading here, Jesus seems to say, “Sorry mom, the timing’s not right” But what Mary hears is, “Sure thing Mom, I’m all over it.” What happens next is pretty amazing. Jesus has the servants fill the jars with water and serve it to the master of ceremonies. As the master of ceremonies tastes it, he finds that it is not simply wine, but the finest wine of the evening.
My encouragement here is two-fold. First, sometimes our greatest and most purpose filled moments come from simply being faithful and serving those around us even though the timing doesn’t feel quite right. I’m not telling you to overcommit yourself and burn out. Thats no good for anyone. What I am saying, is to be mindful of the opportunities in front of you and seek God’s wisdom in how to determine where to invest your life.
The other thing is this, when God says, “Not yet,” to our prayers, we need to move forward in faith knowing that, when the time is right, He will work it out. Mary moved forward in faith knowing that Jesus wasn’t going to sit idly by and let this wedding celebration end in disaster. She knew that somehow, He would resolve the issue, in His way. Did that mean getting more wine, wrapping up the party in a respectful way, or something totally different? She didn’t know the specifics, but she did know Jesus and His character. For us, thats all we need to know.