Tonight as I was writing this post, our live-in “daughter” Kassie was showing me pictures of treehouses, until to her dismay, I promptly became disinterested. “Don’t get me wrong,” I said, “but I’m somewhat of a pragmatist.” Perhaps it’s the German in me. Perhaps it’s just my westernization, in general. Perhaps, I was just in a bad mood. But treehouses, and the thought of living in one – wrangling sacks of groceries up & down the stairs, impromptu lightning strikes, strong gusts of wind huffing, puffing and blowing my house down – well, let’s just say it’s totally beyond the scope of my imagination.
I realize that I have a tendency to be rather critical of things that don’t seem to make logical sense. It seems illogical to mop the floor, for example, before washing and putting away the dishes. Or to eat dessert before eating dinner. Or like my good friend Mary, to shower, fix my hair & makeup and THEN go to exercise. The thought!
Yet, if I were to be honest, part of me looked at those pictures and thought, “Well, wouldn’t that be kind of fun?”
But I’m practical. I like things to make sense and go in order. Unfortunately, it was this kind of thinking that actually prevented me from believing in the miraculous occurrences spoken so often of in the Bible. To be honest, they just didn’t “make sense” to my logical mind.
I mean, I knew miracles were spoken of in the Bible. I knew certain people performed miracles. But the truth was, I just really doubted if I was worthy enough to experience a miracle in my own life. It all seemed too good to be true.
Yet, one key passage of scripture finally helped me begin my journey of discovering and utilizing the miraculous in my own life, and thankfully I traded that former attitude in when I finally got to know God’s true nature. It was Romans 8:32 which forever shed a new light on God’s desire to work miracles in and through me. It says this:
“If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” -The Message.
Did you get that? “Is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly & freely do for us?” Gladly? Freely? Wow.
But what does that verse have to do with miracles, you ask? The point is this. If Jesus willingly sacrificed his very own life for us, (while we were still in our state of depravity and not even a part of his family – Romans 5:8) then we can and should have total confidence to expect from him everything else we need.
I know that’s a rather simplistic understanding of miracles, and of course there is much more to learn, but I believe the foundation for believing in miracles – the kind of miracles that occurred regularly by Jesus and even his disciples – comes from an understanding that God loves us and is not withholding one good thing from us — not even his very own Son.
You see, when people are motivated by love, they don’t seem very pragmatic, do they? When a boy is in love he’ll drive 500 miles to see the girl of his dreams, then drive back an hour later so that he can go to work the next day. When parents love their children, they’ll stay up all night at the bedside of a feverish toddler. When adult children love their ageing parents, they’ll make room for them in a spare room of an already crowded house. When God loves the whole world, he’ll send his one and only Son to lay down his life for his friends. None of these occurrences make any sense unless seen through the lens of love.
But suddenly, when love is the present, motivating factor, all seems clear. All seems realistic — even reasonable. With love present, what seemed to be impossible, not only becomes possible, but probable; likely; expected.
And that’s what miracles should be in our lives ~ probable, likely; expected. In fact, with love as the motivating force, we should always anticipate good things to be coming into our lives. I once heard someone phrase it like this;
“You are not the sick trying to get well. You are the well the enemy is trying to make sick!”
“You are not the poor trying to become prosperous. You are the prosperous the enemy is trying to make poor!”
“You are not the sinner trying to gain forgiveness. You are the forgiven the enemy is trying to make believe is a sinner.”
When we begin to understand the Father’s love, we can release our faith for miraculous occurrences in our lives and in the lives of people around us. We all believe that He can do miracles. But what we struggle believing is if He wants to do miracles.
I believe when your understanding of God’s love is solidified, you will begin walking out the most pragmatic, sensible life you ever could have imagined; a life full of confident expectation of God’s miraculous goodness in your life. If you’re not careful, you may even catch yourself climbing a tree or two to get a peek at that house your dad built you to match your new perspective on life.