When You Face a Problem, Do This

What do you do when you face an unexpected or impossible problem? Try to fix it, panic or call for help? Mary, the mother of Jesus, models how I want to act.

At the beginning of His public ministry at age thirty, Jesus attended a wedding at Cana. Mary must have been helping at the wedding. When the wine ran out, she brought the problem to Jesus. You can read the account here John 2:1–11.

Mary said to Jesus, “They have no more wine.”

That’s it. No pleading, no explanation of how embarrassing or urgent this was, no pointing out how this might foster faith in His disciples. Just, “They have no more wine.”

To the servants she said, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Jesus told them to fill the ceremonial washing jars with water. They filled six 20-30-gallon jars to the brim. “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet,” He said.

I find myself chuckling when I read this. Did the servant hold his breath when the host tasted the water? How shocked and relieved he must have been when the master proclaimed, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

I draw a few personal applications from this scene.

  1. Tell Jesus the problem—not the solution.
    When I bring my problems to God I often suggest ways to solve them. There is nothing wrong with asking. But did you notice, Mary didn’t tell Jesus how to fix the problem? And Jesus did something that defied imagination. 
  2. Follow His instructions and leave the results with Him. 
    Mary didn’t supervise Jesus’ actions. She told the servants to do what He said. I’m sure His directions didn’t make sense to them. But because they obeyed, they experienced a miracle.
I don’t need to tell Jesus how to fix my #problem. Like Mary, I only need to bring my need to Him. #RefreshingFaith Share on X

Trust Jesus with My Problem

Mary knew Jesus’ compassion. She trusted His love, wisdom and ability. Perhaps Jesus had miraculously multiplied food for His family in the meager years after Joseph died. Satan knew He could turn a stone into bread (Matt. 4:3). After Mary told Jesus about the need, she left the problem in His capable hands.

If Mary didn’t feel a need to tell her son how to solve the problem, why do I think I need to come up with the solution for Jesus to execute? I only need to trust and obey Him. I can’t see His spiritual power at work anymore than I can see the wind. But when I trust Him I will witness the result.

I can’t see God's spiritual #power at work anymore than I can see the wind. But I can witness the result. #hope Share on X

Your Turn

  1. How can you apply Mary’s example to your life and relationship with Jesus?
  2. Running out of wine was embarrassing but not a necessity for life. What does Jesus’ miracle show you about His heart and power?

Click here to comment.



For more lessons from Mary and other women in Jesus’ family tree, check out Little Women, Big God. A perfect gift for yourself and for a friend.

Here’s a beautiful worship song by Michael W. Smith, “Breathe”


Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #WorthBeyondRubies #TuneinThursaday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. Kim Henry

    I love this Debbie. It’s so simple and basic and clear. How many times I have made suggestions to God on how I’d like a problem solved! Thank you for pointing this out! I’m planning to apply it!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kim, I’ve realized I do that a lot! 🙂 And Jesus’ solutions are so much better. Great to hear from you!

  2. Susan

    Thank you for this! A nice reminder to trust Jesus. Bring him a problem or concern and watch Him work! Must keep reminding myself that I am not in control!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Susan! And that He knows better than I the best solution.

  3. J.D. Wininger

    Wonderful post Ms. Debbie. I’ve long been a “try and fix it myself first” kind of guy. Perhaps, I should first seek God’s guidance, then He’ll either show me how to fix it (whatever it is), guide me to who can, or fix it Himself. Give Him the option, stand back, and praise Him for His wisdom and goodness. Let’s give that a try first. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, J.D. I’m full of ideas of how He should run the world as it affects me!

  4. Ann J Musico

    Your first application – tell Him the problem, not the solution – was a wonderful and needed reminder for me!! I absolutely love this, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? 🙂

  5. Paula Short

    Amen Debbie. Thank you for pointing this out. I try my best to bring my problems to Jesus, and just leave them with him. I’m trying to be mindful of trying to not ” Ya but, let me help you with that”. I try to leave my problems with Jesus, knowing his will, will be done ( not mine), and remember that whatever his outcome, he is working it for my good. Such a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Paula! May He help us trust Him when we can’t see or understand His ways.

  6. mariel

    yes, amen! Grateful Jesus cares about even small details and He does everything well, it wasn’t the cheap wine but the best that He made.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Love that, Mariel, the best wine!

  7. Melissa Henderson

    Faith. Yes, I only need to trust in Him. His plan is always the right one.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Thanks, Melissa!

  8. Jeannie Waters

    Debbie, in a few words, you shared a huge truth about faith. We can trust the way God answers our questions and meets our needs, but I tend to grasp the solution that seems good to me. I hope to remember the example of Mary’s request when I pray. Thank you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I hope to practice Mary’s example too. Thanks, Jeannie!

  9. Marilyn Nutter

    Love these thoughts. Yes, at Cana Mary only said, “They have no wine.” She left the how and results with Jesus. A lesson for me to learn as I desire to bring what seems to be perfectly good and reasonable answers to the One who knows the most, and must refrain, only speak my heart. .

    • Debbie Wilson

      Marilyn, it seems we all struggle with wanting to help God know best! Thanks.

  10. Sandi

    First’ He wants to hear all my request even if they seem extravagant

    Second, I can trust His response

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Thanks, Sandi.

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