- Their 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.