Have you ever been frustrated that some people thank God for everything that’s good in the world and blame the devil for everything that’s bad? Have you ever thought that potentially the miracle we’re seeking isn’t the miracle we are needing? Have you ever thought that God in His goodness and power filled humanity with everything we need to bring about good or evil in the world, and that often the good and the bad has nothing to do with either God or the devil but a lot to do with you and me?
One of the most frustrating things I often saw in ministry as a pastor was people’s extreme desires to see the “big” miracles yet have no recognition of the everyday miracles . You know, the blind receiving sight, gold dust falling, miraculous healing, so much emphasis was put on the impossible that the real, everyday miracles of life and life-change were disregarded as normal and not noteworthy. If someone could poetically give you a vision, or interpret the weird pizza dream you had, if someone could tell you that God provided them a carpark at the shopping centre when it was peak hour somehow that was awe inspiring.
But to me those things didn’t speak of Jesus. They were often boastful, power or control seeking things that people who wanted to be seen as “super spiritual” would share to somehow elevate their spirituality in other people’s minds.
Jesus’ miracles were never a gimmick. They weren’t a sideshow to entertain us. They were never about him controlling others. They were never to show how spiritual he was. They should never have been the thing that people’s faith relied upon. They were always simply an act of powerful and merciful love. In fact, Jesus opening that carpark space closest to the door sounds like the least miraculous and Christlike miracle of all. Why would a true Christian even want to pray for something like this? Maybe this is less a miracle to thank God for and more a natural result of transient shoppers leaving the centre after having finished their shopping. Logically carparks will always have people coming and going. The miracle I see Jesus performing in the carpark is changing our hearts to be more like Him. That carpark furthest from the door, that allows others to be closer and others to go before us, that’s the carpark I see Jesus opening up. But funnily enough, never the carpark we seek or the story we hear.
“Parting your soup is not a miracle Bruce. It’s a magic trick. A single mum who’s working two jobs and still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice, that’s a miracle. A teenager who says ‘no’ to drugs and ‘yes’ to an education, that’s a miracle. People want me to do everything for them, but what they don’t realise is they have the power. You want to see a miracle son? Be the miracle.” – God (Bruce Almighty)
Let’s not be people who chase the wrong thing. Everything Jesus did was about love. Loving God and loving others. Remember that Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:22-23, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ You can celebrate your miracles as flashy as they might seem, but if you don’t have love, you are just a sideshow lacking the true power of God.
In my last season of ministry many people who pray diligently gave me and Jacqui some very specific “words from God”. These people had no idea that these words they were giving actually were speaking into the decision we were just about to make. They actually shared God’s love for me and the things He was doing in my heart and life through this difficult season. Those same people when everything came out were the first to say I was “demon possessed” or controlled by a “spirit”. They seemed to forget the miracle they were celebrating a few weeks earlier and the words that God had spoken to them. All because they lost their love, or maybe lost His love.
Choose love. That’s the miracle our world needs.
Be the miracle.