We have tightly defined little boxes for what does and does not meet our criteria for a miracle. Believe me, when you wear your physical need as openly as I do, sometimes the well-intentioned hunt you down.
When good-hearted people ask me if they can pray for my leg to come back, I usually say yes. I really don’t want to dash anyone’s humble attempt at ministry when I know it probably has taken every last ounce of courage to even ask me. I get it, stepping out to pray for someone can be a scary thing.
But too often when the answer doesn’t appear on command, I have wound up chastised for not having enough faith or given a pep talk about really believing more, agreeing more, standing more, releasing more, forgiving more, trusting more.
It is sad to see that a leg “grown-back” or “delivered” this side of the veil qualifies as a miracle, but a faith that stand’s for God’s timing and highest purpose in that miracle not so much.
Please let me clarify a few things. I am not talking about God sending birth defects or sickness to teach us a lesson or make us more effective. I do not believe He does this, ever. I am not slighting His sovereignty, I am standing in His goodness and character. Only an abusive parent would burn a child’s hand to teach her what hot was. Our heavenly Father could not be farther from that description.
Here is the balance. While I don’t believe God initiates sickness or harm, I do believe He allows it. We live in a broken cosmos where so many things happen that are not from the heart of God and some of them are direct assaults of the enemy. But to paraphrase something I have heard Graham Cooke often say: What God could easily prevent in His power, He sometimes allows in His wisdom.
Faith is living in the tension of the inbetween when we don’t understand and still holding on to a relentless belief in God’s character and goodness.
Let me boldly unequivocally declare, I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.
I have lived them. I have seen the blind see, the deaf hear, food multiplied, shattered lives restored. I have staked my life God’s ability to make the impossible happen time and time again. I 100% believe in and for creative miracles and healing in my own life and in the lives of those around me, but I also believe in mystery when miracles don’t look like we envision them and that sometimes the greatest miracle of all is the grace to choose trust.
Trust in God’s timing and purpose when we just don’t understand.
Trust in His wisdom and way of answering our deepest prayers when it doesn’t look like we think it should.
Trust in His goodness and character no matter what our eyes see or circumstances scream, never reducing our theology to our experience or lack thereof.
Trust in His nearness and His whispers of love and grace and strength that hold us close and draw us deeper into His heart.
Trust in the mystery and the journey and the process and that God carries us when we cannot walk ourselves.
This is the trust that overcomes and conquers kingdoms and believes in cities unseen. This is the trust that kicks back darkness, turns weakness into strength and makes the world not worthy of our lives laid down in love for Him.
By grace, Jesus today again I choose abandoned, total, relentless, beautiful, miraculous, sustaining, overcoming trust. It is a gift I cannot give You beyond the veil, so let me give it to You everyday I have before I get there.