From the desk of Pastor Asher
23 January 2015
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“You should have seen me when I was young, Sheldon. The fellas (sic) used to line up and bring me boxes of candy. Why did I eat it all?” Most of us can empathize with Mrs. Wolowitz, a character from the popular prime time show, Big Bang Theory, as she grumbles about her weight (Episode 05-021, “The Hawking Excitation”). Who among us did not wish at one time or another that things would turn out differently or that we would live in a different reality.
The truth is that we live in a fallen world. We are predisposed to make irrational decisions and wrong choices. These irrational decisions and wrong choices can manifest themselves in conflict, illness, bad/unproductive habits and addictions.
It is in those times when our irrational decisions and wrong choices come to haunt us, that we are most conscious of our sinful nature. It usually in those moments that we ask God for a miracle – a healing, a financial wind fall, for a difficult situation to resolve itself, or at least a consolation.
In my experience miracles do not happen like that. A miracle is a distinct, observable and measurable event or process that we cannot explain by the accepted norms and laws of nature. God works through the Created Nature. Since human beings are endowed with a free will, we are free to make choices that put our actions in accord with God’s guidance or against it.
When we imagine miracles happening, we think of humans as passive observers. That could not be further from the truth. In most, if not all miracles, humans are active participants. If the Hebrews had not left Egypt, there would have been no need to part the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 13:17-14:29). If the woman with the issue of blood had not reached out to touch Jesus’ coat, she would not have been healed (Mark 5:21-43; Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56). If the friends of the paralyzed man had not brought him to God, they would not have witnessed the healing and their friend would have been left paralyzed (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26).
In my experience miracles happen through faith when we are consciously aware of the presence of the Holy around us, acknowledge that we need to make meaningful changes, and are willing to reach out to God in action and in guidance. God meets us halfway and we experience that event or that process of God reaching to us as a miracle. I think that all of us have experienced miracles in our lives, but did not recognize them as such.
My hope and prayer is that all of us will be consciously aware that God is with us at all times and in all situations. My hope and prayer is that we would search God’s will for our church and in that search and discernment we would recognize the miracle of new life that God is bringing into our midst.
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b NLT). When did you experience a miracle in your life?