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Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

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As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!” He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. (Matthew 9:27-28 MSG)

 It was a journey. An agonizing process that at times seemed interminable. But, on a certain day in 2015, a prayed for…cried over…hoped for transformation occurred in the deepest part of who I was. God had scrubbed and swept the dark places, gathered the pieces of my brokenness into his hands, and reshaped that which seemed impossibly shattered into a complete, healed woman.

It happened. I could feel the difference—inside of that place where people are their most human.

This was no small feat—after more than forty years, 1,460 days, and 2, 102, 400 minutes—this was a miracle that defied explanation. I am convinced that God walked into the moment and heard my cries for mercy…grace…restoration.

In that moment, I became.

Now, I’m reading Christ’s words…feeling His heartache as He traveled from place to place.

“35 Jesus traveled around through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the Jewish synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went he healed people of every sort of illness. 36 And what pity he felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.

37 “The harvest is so great, and the workers are so few,” he told his disciples.38 “So pray to the one in charge of the harvesting, and ask him to recruit more workers for his harvest fields.”         (Matthew 9:35-38)

In every place, Christ encouraged…offered Himself…loved others—one by one.

The discarded? The helpless? The hopeless? These were God’s people! These were the one’s He stepped out of heaven to rescue—as they are today. And in a very personal way, Jesus changed lives. He’s changed mine.

Like the disciples following after Jesus—regular people surrounded by their own mess—I’ve experienced God do the unusual and the unexplainable. I just can’t keep Jesus to myself! How could I?

So I’m praying that in my touch-and-go following after Jesus I’ll imitate Him enough…care for others enough…offer love enough that others will see in my regular life the extraordinary, personal God who still moves…still works…still rescues—because the hurting and the lonely? The needy and broken? They need to meet Jesus, too—one by one—through me. Through you.

Will you join me?

 

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What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.

Charles Stanley

It all began much earlier for him, but most of the nascent signs were quiet and crept into life bit by bit–a silent predator slowly introducing the victim to its presence. Then two years ago, the boy’s everyday life shifted with such suddenness there could be no doubt. Our son knew what it was to struggle with anxiety and depression.

Sleep oscillated between the extremes of non-existent and constant.  Recurring migraines…weight loss…lack of appetite. And my adventurous, full-throttle son retreated to a solitary world that seemed impenetrable.  Once in a great while I would catch a glimpse of the boy , but the cloud of oppression that hung over him was normally the more visible of the two.

There is no heartache quite like that a parent has for her suffering child and in my grief I confronted God.  I wept.  I raged. I begged.  I prayed.

Please, Lord, please!

After more than two years of trial and error…missed school days and fading dreams, we discovered the right combination of interventions and supports–not the least of which included medication.  Finally…some relief for the boy I had soothed with lullabies not so many years ago.

During this time, my boy continued to seek after God.  He wanted more of Jesus–and, unlike me, didn’t seem to struggle with blaming God for allowing this trial in his young life.  Despite the depression…regardless of the anxiety…in spite of the weariness.

One evening he returned from youth group, his face transformed by joy.

We asked God to heal me.  I don’t need my medicine anymore.

christian : Man worshiping god shot at yellow grass Stock Photo

I was skeptical…fearful…doubtful.  I believed in miracles, but this? A young man’s life could be at stake.

Slow and methodical in my response,  I have taken the “yes, but” approach to this precious boy’s healing. “Yes–God can heal, but…”

Yes, but…healing is not probable…practical…likely.

Yes, but…this could be temporary…time-inhibited…explainable.

Yes, but…are you sure you can sleep…function…manage?

And he continues to do well.  Feel well.  Live well.

I have begun to relate to the Bible verse, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” in ways I never expected.  And I wonder if any of you understand?  If you’ve lived it, too?  At some level, those of us who are Christians must grasp the mystery of such things–at least a little bit.

We trust in Jesus, after all.

Yes, but…a virgin birth is impossible…unimaginable…implausible.

Yes, but…a resurrected Messiah is unbelievable…incredible…miraculous.

Yes, but…can we know we are sanctified…rescued…redeemed?

Yes, but…He was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose again in three days.

Scripture for Reflection

Mark 9:24

Genesis 15:6

Isaiah 43:10

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She lay limp in my arms. Not a breath escaped from the perfectly formed mouth.  Her fragile ribcage failed to rise and fall and I knew her tiny heart had ceased beating.  And, for a moment, my own heart stilled.  I paused in horror as my daughter’s lips, face, and body changed from the new-from-heaven shades of pink and cream to a dusky grey and then a deep, unsightly brackish color.

Cradling her tiny body in my arms, I began crying out. “Dave, the baby isn’t breathing!” In a blur of commotion, my child lay motionless atop her changing table–my husband exchanging his life’s breath with our unresponsive daughter. Listen…breathe…compress.

“Ma’am?”  the voice passing through the receiver caught my attention.  “Has your baby choked on something? Does she have a pulse?”

No.  My baby was dead. There was no life remaining.  One minute…two minutes.  Still, the father breathed.

“Please, Lord.  Don’t take the baby…not my baby!”  My prayers emerged loud and desperate–pregnant with a mother’s agony.  Three minutes…four minutes. There wasn’t even the flicker of an eyelid; only the steady rhythm of my husband’s counting–one, two, three, four, five.

Then…five minutes.  The hands on the clock seemed to have stilled and the three of us were trapped in that moment.  Suddenly, Heather gasped for air–an  uneven rasping sound.  At the same time, the firefighters pushed into the crowded nursery.  Like us, they were unbelieving and surprised.  My precious child was alive!

In much the same way, Christ saw his children helpless…dying…exempt from eternal hope.  And without hesitation, He exchanged his own holy life for the lives of fatally sinful people.  His life for mine…and yours.  The moment of Christ’s last breath was a promise for our forever tomorrows.  His precious children are truly alive!

Verse for Reflection:  Colossians 2:13

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10. You would rather sleep than go out for a relaxing dinner with your husband.

9. Previously a fashion statement, scarves now camouflage everything from leaking breasts to baby spit up.

8. Eating something from the baby’s high chair tray qualifies as your lunch.

7. You wear slippers in the kitchen because you don’t have time to sweep the crumbs on the floor.

6. Your water bill doubles. Who knew a baby could create so much laundry?

5. You cry more than the baby does when she has her shots.

4. People you’ve never met will offer their parenting advice. “Oh, she has a flat head. You’re letting her sleep on her back too much.”

3. When friends visit, they have to request an instruction booklet to access the baby-proofed toilet–which, remarkably, only takes your baby a few minutes to figure out.

2. Now you understand how much your parents love you.

1. You’ve just met a miracle–and realize nothing this beautiful could happen without a loving God.

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