Finding God and miracles
Miracle means to wonder or to cause to wonder. Mike Slaughter says, “Every miracle has two components, divine action and human responsibility.”
We were made for a miracle. Part of God’s divine action is revealed through our very existence. When we are looking for a miracle we always start here. Not at a physical location; with our existence. God invites us to be part of divine workings by giving us life.
God’s first action in a miracle begins within the human heart and extends to the human will. Christ followers are granted divine authority to participate in holy mission. John 14 gives us reassuring words that God has our eternity taken care of so that we can participate with assurance in the work God has before us. Jesus invites us to trust in God. When our faith is weak, we are invited to remember the past wonders of God. Jesus concludes by saying that we will do what He has done and greater things (John 14:12).
Where have you seen God this week? In what ways has the divine been made manifest in your life? Identify God’s action. What was your option to respond? Nora and I had a slippery President’s Day week. We were late, Nora and I got in the car at the time she was due at school. Navigating the slippery streets, we encountered a garbage truck, doing its brave duty in the chilly morning as it blocked our path.
Logically, given my success with dirt and gravel roads — I was stuck on a muddy road last spring — I took a side gravel path. We were incident-free as we rounded the curve and climbed a hill to rest at a stop sign. Unfortunately, when it was time to go, we stayed.
I reversed carefully down the hill, ascending once more. This time I planned to roll on through. Coming to the crest, I confronted a fellow sojourner. The second pause yielded the same result as the first and we followed the previous prescription.
I laughed at this third attempt to move through the summit. Nora, stern of face, asked why I was laughing. My reply was simple: I was laughing because our circumstances were funny. This led her to join in the joke.
I usually would mark Nora’s laughter in a hard situation as God’s handiwork. The reality is that this is a miracle. In my moment of distress, late and stuck, the Spirit spoke to mine. It was so subtle that I didn’t notice it in the moment. God offered me two choices, I could grow angry or I could rejoice. One of the marks of a Methodist is that we rejoice in all the places we abide. My choice to receive divine joy allowed me to invite Nora into the same joy.
This was a benign episode. Yet, it is one of many foundational discipleship moments in which Nora is learning to rejoice in the Lord always. The effects of that miracle have long reaching impact.
However, it cost me. God invited me to give up the yoke of human expectation and perception of self. What if there were people judging my failed ascents? I was concerned with how it looked showing up late to school. Letting go of my human outcome empowered me to, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, participate in the divine process.
Choosing to be part of miracles means living out our allegiance to Christ. We invest in the Christ process instead of the human outcome. Our concern for our personal impact (legacy) causes us to neglect our personal responsibility to participate in the work God is doing. We invite God into our life when following Jesus, requires giving our whole selves over to Christ and following Him.
Find refuge in the Glory of God. Where do you see God? Look for divine action and the invitation to our response. Responding to divine action has a personal cost. Invest in the Christ process instead of the human outcome. Joy comes in this and the life to come.