Have you ever felt inadequate? Inferior? Helplessly cornered by your own personality? Faced with a job you feel utterly incapable of accomplishing? Congratulations! You are a normal human being! Or at least you have me as an ally in weirdness. I’ve despaired over my personality for as long as I can remember. Never talkative enough. Never cheerful enough. Never fun enough. If I were to compare myself to an animal, it would probably be an oyster.
I’ve wept innumerable hours as a result of not saying something when I should have, not expressing the affection I felt, not rising to the occasion when a decision needed to be made or a task needed to be done. I suppose I do have fleeting moments of surprising adequacy, when I somehow say or do something at the right moment with fewer repercussions than usual. But most of the time I feel like the people in this story…
John 2:1-10 “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”
Being an introvert, I run out of steam quickly. I fall into a crowd coma after about an hour in large company and develop the intense desire to crawl into a cardboard box with a book and moulder there for the rest of my life. I tend to feel like those emptied pots at the feast, drained to the very dregs of my personality. That’s when I need to understand that this life I’m living doesn’t have to leave me thirsty, since I invited Jesus Christ, Lord and Master of the universe, to my feast.
I don’t have to despair when my wine—my social skills, my compassion, my strength, my joy—runs out. Because the best and brightest I can be at the peak of my personality is nothing compared to what my God can do through me when I surrender my personality to Him.
What did Jesus tell the servants to do with their pots? “Fill the waterpots with water.” He knew they didn’t have wine and obviously could not obtain any from another source, or they would have done so. He gave them a simple enough task—use what you do have to fill what needs filling. And the servants did their job, no matter how many misgivings they must have had. They even filled the pots to the brim—not stingy, not sparing, holding nothing back, till the pots could hold no more. Then Jesus told them to draw some out and take it to the governor of the feast, and when he tasted it, he wasn’t drinking water—it had been miraculously changed to the best wine he had ever known.
And that is the same power that works in you and me today—the power of a loving, Almighty God. If Jesus could change ordinary, uninteresting water into delicious, refreshing grape juice, don’t you think He can work a miracle to change the dullest personality into one that glorifies God and edifies others? This knowledge brings me hope—hope that keeps me doing what I know to do with what I have, obeying my Master’s command to “Fill the waterpots with water” and trusting Him to use my humble water to make a miracle.
I don’t have to be wine! How liberating is that? I don’t have to be the girl with the perfect personality, the “people person,” the bubbly social butterfly. With the personality God has given me, I can serve those around me in ways the social butterfly never could. And that’s not saying I shouldn’t work on being more friendly, speaking more sweetly, smiling more. It just means I don’t need to be stressed out at the fact that I am not naturally outgoing. It means I can release who I am into Jesus’ capable hands to transform me into whom I need to be. Because that’s what He does best.