Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

3 May 2010

The Everyday Miraculous (Part 1)

People love and hate the miraculous. They love it because the miraculous has the ability give hope... but they hate it because it's so rarely seen and they're tired of fruitless hoping. I heard a story yesterday about how someone emailed their ministry-partners list an encouraging story about a miracle... only to have a number respond by asking him to take them off the list because they just didn't want to hear about "Miracles".

It's a surprisingly touchy (and often complex) topic.

David Hayward (The Naked Pastor) drew a thought-provoking cartoon today:

He explained it this way:

This cartoon was provoked by something I saw on Facebook yesterday. Someone was thanking God for healing someone. They said something like, “God is awesome! We serve a God who always answers prayer!” Or something like that. I immediately thought of all the people who simply couldn’t say that. At least not now. I’m not arguing whether one is right and the other is wrong. I’m just suggesting that sometimes we are grossly unaware of the pain and suffering of this world for most people. Sometimes including ourselves.

It's a very interesting topic to pour through. Right now I'm reading Bruce Wilkenson's new book, "You were born for this" about the degree to which God wants to use us to see "everyday predictable miracles" happen.

He talks about the gaping distance between the 2 Christian crowds when it comes to their reaction to the miraculous.

1) The signs and wonders people. You know the type.
2) The land of good deeds livers. You know the type.

He points out that most people choose to live in the land of good deeds and that:

"...it's often longtime Christians who resist miracles the most. Many have stopped expecting miracles, asking for them, or knowing how to partner with God to invite them. In other words, they have abandoned the everyday miracle a territory and often measure success on how LITTLE they need God"

The book's point is that we need to intentionally leave space between the "what needs to be" and the "what is". A space that only God can bridge miraculously... and then be His delivery boy. He talks about the Holy Spirit nudges that we ALL get to help. And then do what you're being nudged to do. It's everyday people doing everyday doable things... resulting in a heavenly anointing that releases miraculous things to happen.

My sister is a nurse on Mercy Ship. It's currently mid-mission docked in Togo. They bring hope... and see some amazingly great things... but they are often also around seemingly unanswered prayers too. She wrote beautifully this week about a number of medical miracles they've seen recently. Here is the story in it's entirety.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen God work in ways that I have only ever in the past prayed for. As a healthcare professional, I have always had a hard time trying to pray for healing. I always get hung up on the fact that all too often, it seems that we pray for healing and fail to see it come to pass – at least in the ways that we expect or want. I have watched families of dying children pray for revival, and then suffer through the exact thing they were hoping to overpower. Overtime, these types of experiences had turned a little part of me skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, I have never for a second seriously doubted that my God has the power to heal, restore, and even overcome death…..but, I had started to wonder, why He didn’t always do just that. And, more importantly, why we needed to bother bargaining for such interventions if the decision had already been made and He had the power to do so regardless of us.

I had been wondering, for quite some number of years now.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Baby O’Brien remembered how to breathe before our eyes. Uncle Gary prayed and within minutes, his entire respiratory status was transformed. Like an actual miracle that has absolutely no medical explanation. When I came in for my day shift the morning after and saw what had happened, I made the night nurse explain it to me three times before I would believe. (It’s funny how shocked we can be when things we pray for actually happen)

Just days later, I was taking care of Marius, our other in-and-out-of-the-ICU-baby, on trial number two of what seemed to be at the time, “the case of the trach that refused to be removed”. Forty-five minutes into the decanulation trial and the little baby in front of us continued to breathe at about 80/minute (for those non-NICU types….that is too fast), wheezing and indrawing like a champ.

Maybe it was because we had done everything we could think of and we had no other nursing tricks up our sleeves. Maybe it was because Marius has the most beautiful, huge, dark eyes that pierce your soul and compel you to do something more supernatural than you are capable of in your own humanness. Or maybe it was because my faith in praying for miraculous healing had just recently been restored.

Whatever the reason, I decided I should pray. Normally, I would have said “God already knows our desire in this situation, what difference does it make if I say it?” Or I might have thought “There are too many more important things to get done right now”. But instead, in this case, I layed my hands on his chest, closed my eyes to the monitor flashing much less-than-impressive numbers, and I prayed to my Saviour. I thanked him for allowing me the opportunity to care for His child. I told him that I believed that He was the only one who had the power to heal Marius. And, I told him that we would accept His will for Marius’ life in this situation.

That morning, the miracle didn’t happen instantly. Marius lasted 12 hours without his trach, and then needed it for a couple more days before he was able to be decanulated for good. But, within a couple more days, he stopped requiring any oxygen whatsoever. And, just a few days after that, a repaired-lip, fat-cheeked, beautiful baby Marius returned to the ward in a triumphant celebration of hope and healing.

And, I think I am starting to understand why our faith and outward expression of faith is so crucial. Because I know God could have healed Marius without me. He didn’t need me to stand there and pray. But, if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had tears in my eyes when I saw him become whole again. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be a part of it. And, if that were the case, then I would have denied Him the opportunity to change my life through changing Marius’.

Tomorrow... I'm gonna do a part 2 on the everyday miraculous about roles that we can/should play in the miracle process.

How do you react to talk of the miraculous?

1 comment:

preacherlady said...

The miraculous happens, there's no doubt about it, and when we are the ones who have done the praying, we know just how big God is and how it has nothing to do with us other than the fact that we gave our hands and hearts for God to use. If we ever decide to ask why...why one gets healed and another doesn't...we could drive ourselves silly. Years ago, a teacher told me my job was to lay hands and pray. Period. The outcome was up to God and was none of my business.

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