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A Miracle in the Making

For the past several weeks I joined with many others praying for a miracle on behalf of a family we have loved for many years. Crying out to God to do what no human could do in what looked to be a lost and hopeless situation. To the miracle we wanted God said no. He had other plans. And we said goodbye to a dear friend.

As my human heart broke, I questioned God on his choice. He has the power to heal, I've seen his miracles before, why didn't he do it this time? To my question God responded with a question of his own, "Why did you want this miracle? Just to make your life easier and to take the pain away?"

"Of course!!" Was my immediate response. God, in all his love and grace whispered back, "That's not why I came. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!" I sat back and meditated on this truth, letting this all too familiar verse really sink in in context to the heartbreak I was facing.

When Jesus came in human form over 2000 years ago, everyone expected him to save the day by over throwing the Roman empire. They wanted him to remove the hurts and oppression they faced to ultimately make their lives here on earth more comfortable. And many were angry and lost faith when Jesus didn't answer their prayers for relief in the way they wanted. But God was up to something so much bigger in his purpose for sending his Son Jesus to earth. A miracle that went beyond their present-day circumstances.

And as I look at the comparison between the Israelites disappointment and misunderstanding of Gods heart when he didn’t answer their prayers the way they wanted, and the desires behind my prayers mixed in with my own grief and confusion on Gods plan, I can't help but be reminded of the fact that God is often up to something so much bigger than we can ever imagine. If we can just push pass the temptation doubt throws our way and trust he is still God, we will begin to see he is big enough to bring beauty from the ashes of our lives and plant gardens on the graves of our hearts. Just as he did when he defeated death by rising again 3 days after he breathed his last.

You see Jesus didn't come to spare us from the hardships and brokenness of this life. No, he came to be with us through them. His death and resurrection enable the veil to be torn and the gift of the Holy Spirit to come. In Jesus' victory over death, we too continue to stand victorious even on the darkest of days because we hold on to the assurance that not even the most grueling and excruciating circumstances can separate us from God's love and the promise of eternal life with him some day. We always win! Even as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death, we can be confident that the heartbreak we experience is wrapped up and covered in the blood of Jesus. Not only does he promise to walk through those seasons with us, but he has bought for us a secure seat in Heaven so that we will not have to face the ultimate place of torment in Hell for eternity. Something only his loving daddy heart can understand and so desperately want to spare us from. Dare I say even more than he wants to relieve our momentary afflictions here on earth.

When Jesus died on the cross it felt like all was lost, but the greater victory was yet to be won on such a monumental scale. But even the disciples doubted there would be good coming out of this pain and Jesus would keep his word to rise again. We doubt too. Faced with impossible circumstances, and no’s to our greatest longings, we begin to question God's heart and his love for us. I am so thankful for God's tender compassion in those moment as he covers our aching hearts with his infinite grace and calls us back to a place where we are willing to push past what we see, and surrender what we hoped for, to accept that what he may be doing is a miracle on a grander scale than our finite minds could comprehend. That he is still working behind the scenes and he has not forgotten about us. In fact, it is only him who enables us to take each exhausting step that lies before us until we find our feet on sure ground again.

Having faith when your world is crumbling and your hopes and dreams are being washed out to sea is no easy task. Then again, if it were, would Jesus have told us again and again to prepare and be expecting those difficult seasons; and with that promise of hardship, equally confirm that he will walk with us through each one? He assures us over and over in scripture that he and he alone can provide us the grace and strength we need to survive. Our purpose here on earth is not to avoid the hard times in life, but simply to stay anchored to Jesus in the storm until it passes. This is how he gets the glory and where the miracle begins to take shape. Our response, our clinging to Jesus when hope fades. Every chapter, every choice, placed in the hands of our sovereign King, is a miracle in the making.

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