I want to invite you into something. Two weeks ago, before I had my hospital holiday for what turned out to be not appendicitis – Thank you Jesus! I was writing this post about miracles. My experiences of the last two weeks have made it a little more poignant, and I’m quite eager to share it with you all now!
It’s an opportunity I want to invite you to take a pause and quite specifically reflect on your own journey so far, no matter whether you consider yourself to be on The Narrow Way or not.
In the last month or so, I have spent time with people who have had different miraculous things happen in their lives. But they are not necessarily huge big things that come with lights and sirens or make huge impacts on the lives of other people around them. In fact, if they had not chosen to share those experiences with us, we would never have known that they happened.
It got me wondering, if maybe there are lots and lots of these kinds of events in our lives, and the lives of our friends and relations, that God is doing for us and through us, that we either ignore as coincidence, or don’t recognise, or simply don’t understand because they look ordinary. Or because they only affect us individually, we don’t think to share them…?
I’ve spoken here about people in the OT putting up stones of remembrance to mark specific times when God met them on their journey.
This is an opportunity for me to ‘remembrance’ some of them with you. I have been “reading” (well, listening to) the book ‘They Told Me Their Stories’ by Tom Welchel. Which is a book recalling the testimonies of peoples’ first-hand accounts of the Azusa street revival; the miracles they witnessed and that God did through them. I haven’t experienced any limbs growing out or people being brought back from the dead, but I have experienced some things, and any demonstration of God’s power is worth gossip, IMHO*.
For example, (serious first world problems here mind you)… I know heaps of people, myself included, who pray for parking spaces, and there is always a parking space. Without fail, even during the Christmas rush, in a prime location. It seems like a silly thing, but I really believe that God actually gives a rats rump about us enough to find a parking space. My challenge is whether I remember to thank Him for it.
A very personal experience of mine is that God completely removed my addiction to nicotine. I had smoked for years and years, and even gave up for 6 years at one point. I was one of those quitters who drove and walked behind smokers, and used to hang around smokers, because I still craved it so badly. I may as well have continued to smoke. Then one day God said to me “This is your last one.” I threw out the rest of the pack and I haven’t craved or smoked another cigarette since. It was gone, no withdrawal, no craving, no nothing. I am so grateful, and I will be grateful forever.
My parents tell the story of my very early childhood, (2ish), that I was very ill with tonsillitis, and one evening I told them to lay hands on me and pray and I would be well. So they did, and I was.
I have heard from a new friend who, one day she had way more people turn up for a meal than she had food prepared, and not knowing what to do, she just kept digging into the pot for the potatoes. They kept coming out of the pot, and everybody had enough. (I think she said that she prepared for 5 people, and 13 people came) This is in a First World place.
Another new friend went to do the shopping knowing that she didn’t have any money to buy the groceries. When she got there, she opened her purse, and the exact amount she needed was in her purse.
These are first hand experiences that people have had. There’s no urban legend in these particular stories, it’s not ‘a-friend-of-a-friend-of-mine’ or relaying a hope or a wish.
I have spent many many years looking at the wealth of experience that the church in developing nations has in the outward expression of the Glory of God and coveting it. I believe it is right and Holy to desire – to covet, more of God. I have grieved that we don’t get the same experience, but I actually think that maybe we do, but we just don’t see it…
Like the church in Laodicea, which is written about in Revelation:
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:17 (NIV)
Even if we personally realise that we need Jesus, and are pushing into our relationship with our Amazing God of All Things, sometimes our developed culture can still get in the way.
Some things we laugh about and think ‘coincidence’, like praying for a carpark and suddenly one opens up before our eyes. Or thinking about someone and all of a sudden they call.
What if it’s really not.
What if it’s the beginning of the golden threads of God doing something enormous, and He’s just waiting for people to recognise those little threads of Glory and strengthen our cooperation with Him with intention and praise.
So now, tell me, lets tell each other, use the contact page or comment on this post, and we’ll make some remembrances! I want to hear what He has done for you!
God Bless You Very Much
Addendum: I need to acknowledge that, every week that I have the ability to write, to have the ability to translate a thought onto a page is a miracle and is solely by the grace of God! Not in the way that He has given us all a brain and the ability to think and journal or whatever it is we do to express ourselves, but literally. If He doesn't clear the way each week and bring this damaged brain into order so that His ideas can come from the germ He places inside it into a blog post, they don't happen. I am grateful and amazed each time He does it. There is no way that I can do this, He makes me look good, but it's definitely not me. I do my best to cooperate, and I love Him.
*IMHO – In My Humble Opinion