The Greater Miracle

I am taking a page out of Network TV’s playbook this summer. Since I will be working on a special writing project for the next few months, I’ll be rerunning a few of my past blog posts here on Perfection Road. I hope you won’t wander away. I’m excited about this new project and anxious to see how the Spirit leads me. Please offer up a prayer for me on Monday mornings as I search for just the right words. As always, thank you for traveling with me!

The blog below was written for Lean into Jesus Ministries and was published Sunday morning. If you haven’t already read it, please take a few minutes to travel along with me. It came from the deepest part of my heart.

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Were Adam and Eve created with a starter set of words? As God breathed life into them, did He also breathe a rich, colorful vocabulary that could adequately describe the Tree of Life’s leaves waltzing with the morning breeze? As Adam closed his eyes to recall witnessing the birth of the first fawn and filly, could he find words descriptive enough for the wonder he felt?  Could Eve craft sentences masterful enough to capture all the emotion of deep, heartfelt love? 

Words originally created with oils of deep, rich color seem like mere watercolor memories now. As the wonder of Eden faded, perhaps our words have also faded. Take, for instance, the word miracle. It once described supernatural events that displayed God’s power, proved His existence, shook the earth, hurled hailstones, stopped the sun, brought down fire, and healed bodies. Today, when our team wins a championship, we call it a miracle. When the traffic light holds long enough for us to keep going, we declare a miracle. We use the word miracle when all of our little ones take long naps at the same time. We don’t mean to water the word down, but we do. 

I’ve been thinking a great deal about miracles lately. I’ve witnessed a few divine interventions that were nothing short of miraculous. I’ve seen bodies healed when all was lost. For the past few months, I’ve cried out to God for miracle healing for dear friends. I’m still crying out. Will God use His miracle-working hands to pull out all the cancer? I don’t know, but I keep praying that He will. I still believe in the power of God’s hand. I still believe He works miracles. Yet, I’ve come to realize that I may have overlooked a miracle greater than physical healing.

Of course, we want physical healing. We want our loved ones’ suffering to end. We wonder why those so in love with God become afflicted. Can something of great value be gained? Something with greater long-term benefits?

In the Old Testament, miracles were performed to prove God’s power and sovereignty. God’s love motivated awe-inspiring, nature-defying miracles to encourage His wayward children to move closer to Him and know without a doubt that He was the One True God. This wasn’t intended to boost God’s ego; it was the conduit for His blessings to fall on them.

God’s greatest blessing was Jesus – the One who paid for all of our sins once and for all. Many sincere God-fearing Jews believed in God, but they had a hard time believing Jesus was the Messiah they had been praying for. To convince them, Jesus performed many miracles. These miracles fulfilled the prophecy that He would bring Good News to the poor, proclaim liberty for the prisoners, open the eyes of the blind, and set the captives free. Simply put, Jesus’ miracles proved He was who He said He was, and He could do what He said He could do.

Though Jesus no longer walks the earth in human form, His Spirit is still in the miracle-working business. Some receive supernatural physical healing, which strengthens the faith of believers and moves us to offer thanks and praise. However, unbelievers refuse to label this kind of healing as a miracle. Instead, they see it as the result of medicine, skilled doctors, or merely a coincidence. 

Then again, others receive a miracle much greater than physical healing. They receive a supernatural download of joy and peace while in the throes of suffering. This kind of miraculous intervention can only come from the Holy Spirit. It has the power to strengthen believers’ faith, but more importantly, it offers a reason for unbelievers to believe. Even the most diehard skeptic has a hard time explaining away peace in the pain and joy on this kind of journey. Does this peace and joy take away the physical pain and emotional sadness? Not at all. But it does provide a purpose that far outweighs our momentary troubles and can overshadow suffering.

Two families in my life are struggling with cancer diagnoses that no one wants to receive. Yet, their passion for sharing their experiences with the love of God, the grace of Jesus, and their friendship with the Holy Spirit has been stoked into a roaring fire. Of course, we all want healing, but they fully understand they can further the kingdom by genuinely displaying joyful, peaceful lives bathed in absolute trust. Yes, they pray for more time with family and friends, but they also pray for greater influence. Isn’t that what we should all pray for? Shouldn’t we all live unexplainably peaceful and joyous lives no matter our circumstances so that others might want what we have? The faith of these two families is changing me. I can only imagine what they do for those looking in from outside of faith.

John the Revelator was blessed with a vision of the hereafter. Though he kept dipping his pen into a well of rich, colorful words, none could adequately describe the splendor of it all. I believe God will share His most magnificent words with us when we see the wolf lay down with the lamb. It’s hard to wait for the moment when we sit beside the River of Life with family and friends who have gone before us. But that day is coming! In the meantime, may we intentionally exude joyous and peaceful lives that cause unbelievers to believe. 

“Always be full of JOY in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s PEACE, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NLT, my emphasis)

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Donna Jackson

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