How many times have you prayed for a miracle?
A dozen? A hundred? Too many to count?
Maybe you prayed for yourself, or for a friend or family member. Perhaps you sought God for a change in circumstances or a change in attitude. Whether you ask for intervention in your emotional or physical health, relationships, finances, or spiritual growth, certain obstacles remind us that we all need help greater than ourselves. We all reach a limit of what we can do from our own strength and skill.We all need help greater than ourselves. #miracle #empowerednester Click To Tweet
By definition, a miracle is “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”*
Take a minute to recall a few miracles you’ve experienced or witnessed. Savor the memory of heaven meeting earth — and more, meeting you. Wasn’t it breathtaking? Didn’t it cause you to lean closer to this God, believing anything was possible? It’s important to relive those moments of awe and gratitude. They strengthen you for the journey ahead.
Now think back: What happened after you received a divine breakthrough? Did life suddenly become a breeze, no more struggles or questions? Or did the miracle put you on a new path with new hurdles? I don’t believe I’ve ever experienced a miracle that did not, afterwards, demand something of me.
You see, a miracle is not an end in itself. As powerful and life-changing as they are, miracles simply realign something back to God, providing a doorway to move forward on a new path. Unfortunately, we often go astray during this transition. If we’re honest, we hope our Creator will recreate our circumstances (or us) and take away the struggle. Take away the pain. Take away the need for perseverance and discipline and faith to go on. But our Father wants much more for us than a solution. He longs for a partnership. He created us to walk with Him, daily sharing in His grace and glory.
This walk with our King takes us places we don’t expect to go, as He is determined to restore all things to Himself.A miracle is not an end in itself. #theresmore #empowerednester Click To Tweet
We needed a miracle.
The cycle had been going on for years. No matter how much we tried to walk in love and forgiveness, no matter the changes we each made, it was only a matter of time before the cycle would repeat. Pain from years past, pain I thought was gone, would resurface and I’d wonder if it would ever go away for good.
We read great books, went to marriage weekends, prayed and grew in our individual spiritual walks, and were in many ways happily married. But an undercurrent of misunderstandings and unconscious expectations caused results we often didn’t see coming.
We prayed for a breakthrough as the cycle time got shorter and shorter. From experience, I recognized that what appeared to be getting worse was just a set-up for a miracle. In His great love and mercy, God dug deeper and deeper into our souls to expose the root cause of our pain and frustration. He was preparing the ground, preparing our hearts, increasing our desire for “whatever it takes.” (He’s wise, like that.)
Then, at a WORD Retreat a few weeks ago, I got my miracle. It came in such a gentle, quiet way, I might have missed it — except my whole insides felt the universe shift. In my mind’s eye, I saw a hand carefully remove my pain. It looked like a little weed, roots and all. Not too impressive or intimidating, it seemed, except I had been living with its poison for decades. Now it was finished. I physically felt a release. Tenderly, but firmly, He told me, “It’s gone. Don’t look for it anymore. It’s done.”
Quiet joy flooded in where the hurt used to live. A tangible lightheartedness filled me. I knew I was different.
The following days were filled with new hope and freedom like waves might fill in a hole where a stone had been removed. Where dread had played with my thoughts, expectation of good took its place. I felt free to do things I hadn’t done in years, for fear of getting embarrassed or hurt. Nothing seemed impossible. I truly don’t remember feeling so confident and free.
What if the story ended there? That’d be great, right? Well, maybe… except God’s ways are always higher and better than ours. He doesn’t take the easy road. No shortcuts. No, as I said earlier, our God is determined to restore all things to Himself. So I’m moving through the transition between the miracle and my new normal. I’m learning to think differently as I sit with Him and listen to how He thinks about my newly healed heart.
I’m learning to respond differently to words and actions that used to poke at my pain. That pain is gone, so there’s no need to flinch. No need to protect myself. Each step, each day gives opportunity to retrain my mind and heart to live in this deeper freedom and expectation of good. Each day reveals the tender heart of my Teacher, Holy Spirit. Although I stumble over myself sometimes, as I embrace the process, I fall in love with Him again.
I share this to encourage you:
- If you’re praying for a miracle, pray also for wisdom for the transition into your new normal. Every miracle will make demands on you, but these demands will lead to even greater treasures.
- If you’ve already received a miracle, lean into your Father’s whisper and let Him prepare you and lead you down your new path. Don’t beat yourself up while you’re learning. Focus on His smile.
- In all things, savor the reality of a God who chooses to partner with you. To walk and talk with you, revealing heaven to you, in you, and through you. Savor and smile. He is good.