Monthly Archives: November 2016

Is it a miracle?

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  • lighthouse-1313047_1280Their mortgage is approved for the house of their dreams; you get turned down.
  • He is promoted to the job of your dreams; you get passed by.
  • She gets into the Ivy League school; he starts at the community college.

You, her, they, he – all followers of Jesus Christ, saved by the blood of the same merciful Lamb. Every single one facing a dilemma or decision. Every single one pleading prayers in private and with small groups, loved ones, even friends of friends who care enough to go to God. Every single one asking, longing for a “Yes” from God.

But, when God answers yes, is it always a miracle? is it because I’m right? And if He says no, is the request evil or wrong? not worthy of a miracle? un-Christian? outside of God’s will?

Hmmmmm. Let’s think of the times we’ve used the word miracle as we ponder and share answered prayers.

The tumor miraculously disappeared.

The lost child was miraculously found in the deep of the woods, after 3 days alone, cold and hungry – in a place already searched and abandoned…We know down to our core that it was searched again because of miraculous and divine intervention. Don’t bother arguing.

We speak of miracles with awe and tears and thanksgiving. We stand in humility when the sick are healed and the lost are found. We do not cheer as if victorious. As if we had something to do with it. We lift our faces and say, “Thank you, dear, dear Father, for answering our prayers so graciously.”

We don’t raise our arms and celebrate a touchdown. “We DID it!”

And, good golly, Miss Molly, if we do, shame on us.

Our Father performs miracles every single day – some we see, some we don’t. Some come when a weak and pitiful prayer is whispered in desperation. Some when the world gathers to storm the gates of heaven with a request.

But not one of those miracles is because of us. And it troubles me that when things go “our” way, it’s a miracle from God; when they don’t, it’s spiritual warfare.

Sometimes what happens is not the result of our prayer at all. Sometimes evil wins, disguised as good.

Every single day God fights that evil for our hearts and minds. He endures our quibbling and pettiness. He chides us when pride tells us we alone are right, and He comforts us when others accuse us of being misguided and worldly. He gives us hope.

My lovelies, God is merciful and loving. He is fair and just beyond our understanding.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I have seen mighty miracles in my lifetime. Oh, not the ones where the tumor disappears or the lost in the woods is found. But I’ve seen and held new life. I’ve seen and known lost souls that come to Jesus. And I’ve felt peace in the midst of the fiercest of life’s storms. Because I’ve also heard first hand the answer is no.

Miracles are mysterious. Sometimes earth-shaking, history-making events are miracles and sometimes they aren’t – they are just earth-shaking and history-making.

And sometimes the smallest whisper – Look over behind that fallen tree one more time – is the biggest miracle.

 

Sometimes what happens is not the result of our prayer at all – sometimes evil wins, disguised as good. Click to Tweet

 

“…we go high”

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Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in the world,
but has not solved one yet.
Maya Angelou

girl-1186895_1280When I saw a picture of that T-shirt, I got sick to my stomach.

You know the one – it has just six words on it, including words that mean “a hefty string,” “a tall plant that gives shade,” and “people who report the news for a living.” It also includes vague instructions about putting it together by yourself.*

I had to use those descriptions and words because I don’t want my blog post to come up in a Google search. I can’t be associated in any way with a garment or sentiment so malicious and ugly, designed and made on purpose, and then sold for real dollars to a real person who chose to wear it in public.

Good golly, Miss Molly.

But what made that image so unsettling?

I can think of only one thing. The cruel act of lynching is tied to the ugliest behavior and beliefs ever witnessed or practiced in our country’s history. A time we recall and hang our heads in shame.

So, especially in this season, when the news drips with stories that include racial conflict and acts of violence, why dredge up something so painful and so hate-filled?

How, in the middle of a campaign year already brimming over with half-truths and caustic accusations, could anyone find humor – in even its darkest form – in an act so heinous?

(And, if you believe the past is the past, the last reported lynching took place in 1981.)

But I take comfort in the fact that most everyone I know and you know would be equally appalled.

I am inspired by those around me who show compassion and trust everyday in every way, and I am encouraged by simple acts of kindness witnessed everywhere.

So, as I write and you read these words that turn from outrage to peace, I pray we find all the goodness in the world we can, share it with wild abandon, and live out these words:

I’m convinced of this:
Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.
Maya Angelou

 

“Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.” Maya Angelou Click to Tweet

(With thanks to Michelle Obama for going high.)

*If you really don’t know what I’m talking about, email me (nkwolfe@gmail.com) and I’ll send you a link. I can’t even put it on my page. I just can’t.