Running on Empty

“When the wine steward tasted the water that had become wine and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”   (John 2:9-10)

The wine had run out. The party was about to end. The host families would be ashamed. The bride’s heart would be broken. The groom would be marked as a failure. That couple’s marriage would be doomed.

Just when the festivities were about to crash, Jesus asked some servants to fill up six jars, each of which could hold 20-30 gallons. He then turned the water into wine.

We know this story. Some of us may even be sorry we weren’t at the party enjoying the best wine that has ever been produced.

Can this story speak to us today?

Have you ever felt like the wine has run out in your life, in a relationship, or in your career? Ever felt like you had nothing left to give, no hope you can find, no second wind you can conjure up? Ever been afraid people will see just how spent and burned-out you are? Ever been terrified that your party, your life, is about to come crashing down?

I have felt all of the above. Have you?

If so, then today’s lesson offers tremendous encouragement. Jesus saved the marriage and the party on that day in Cana long ago, and He can do all of the same today.

If the couple hadn’t run out of the wine their families provided, they wouldn’t have known the wine only Jesus could give. The same is true for us.

Sometimes Jesus lets us run out, run dry, run empty so that we’ll bring our emptiness to Him, asking, even pleading, for Him to fill us with the life and energy, and joy that only He can give. Sometimes we have to run out of our stuff, our tricks, and our plans so that our extravagant God can give us the very best.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Has the wine—the joy, energy, focus, and hope—ever run out of your life? If so, what did you do?
  1. Are you heading towards being empty or full now? If towards empty, what do you need to change? If towards full, what do you need to continue doing?
  1. Have you ever experienced the new wine only Jesus can give? If you have, what does that wine taste like? How has it changed your life?

One thought on “Running on Empty

Leave a Reply