I know I’m not speaking for myself in saying what I’m about to say next, but I will, just for the sake of not putting words in peoples mouths, so here goes: I am and have been waiting for a miracle, for God to move heaven and earth in this one particular situation I’m facing. Now that you’re all like “YES! Me too!” — with your permission I will now speak for us all, because I truly feel like a lot of us today are in the same boat; you know that boat that Jesus and His disciples were in that was being rocked by a crazy storm, and the disciples all thought they were dying and needed Jesus to wake up and save them? That boat. We are all in that boat just needing a miracle. Whether it be in our families, in our relationships, in our health, in our finances, in achieving our dreams and so on and so on, the bottom line is we need a miracle; we need breakthroughs, turnarounds, just something to remove us from this place where we just keep seeing the same four walls with no door — or to continue with my boat analogy — to keep us from being tossed into the sea and drowning. And so I think we are absolutely warranted in needing a miracle, we are absolutely warranted in going to God just like the disciples did and saying save us Lord, we are perishing. I mean with the way life is set up, really, only God can help us. But, and here comes the but, it only hit me about 2 months ago what waiting and expecting a miracle truly means. And let me just say, it was quite a rude awakening.
I always saw miracles as fascinating; as these amazing and unexpected things that happen…and they are…so for me, it was simple, asking for one was just about saying “I want something amazing and unexpected to happen to me right now” and then believing it will, believing that this unexpected great thing is going to happen. Sounds like what a true believer should do right? Sounds like something I should be proud of, like hey, look at me, I believe in miracles. But, what I didn’t realise is miracles extend beyond simply believing that it’s going to happen. Believing is only a small, prerequisite of a miracle actually happening. What’s far bigger are the conditions and environment in which the miracle is meant to happen. And let me tell you, this is where we, or should I go back to speaking for myself…? Okay fine, this is where I got it wrong. The truth is miracles don’t just happen, even though by the very word itself it sounds like they do, but they don’t, and if that’s not enough, they don’t happen when we ask. They happen when the conditions are right. What are the right conditions you may ask? Well, this crazy storm that we are in. This crazy storm with waves crashing in on us, is apparently the conditions we need to be in for a miracle to happen. And I guess if you think about it, Jesus calming the storm wouldn’t have been quite the miracle had the sea not started acting a fool and making the disciples think they were going to die? If they weren’t in the middle of a storm would Jesus have had the opportunity to show Himself true to them? I guess not. So it was because of the storm that the miracle happened, not in spite of it. And this is what the rude awakening was for me, that I actually have to be in this storm, and go through this storm for the miracle I am and have been waiting for to happen. Because prior to that what had happened was, I had been praying for a miracle, you know, as one does, but every time I stepped out of my prayer closet everything that would happen was in the exact opposite direction of the miracle I was asking for, and I was like “Lord, I said a miracle, not this. This is NOT what I asked for. This is exactly the opposite of what I asked for. In fact this is not making my situation better, it’s making it worse. Please stop this, I need a miracle.” I started even spelling it out for Him, like “M-I-R-A-C-L-E, miracle.” Then God said to me “child, do you know what it is that you ask for? Let’s say I were to give you this M-I-R-A-C-L-E, how may I ask will you know it’s happened? Is it because a neon sign will flash in front of you? No, it is because, every wrong thing you see happening in front of you now would have been the proof that a miracle has happened. Without that there is no miracle. So again I ask, do you know what it is you really ask for?”
And that’s when I realised what I had been missing this whole time. Expecting God to appear and fix everything in some miraculous way is only half the story. Fully receiving it is the other, and I feel like that’s not easy to accept. I’ll tell you why. As people we experience such great inconvenience at even the slightest bit of a problem. It’s like we step out into the world to go about our business, all sunshine and roses, but as soon as it starts to rain, but you know, that slow drop drop drop of rain before it fully becomes a steady pour, we start to get annoyed and want it to stop immediately. And maybe at that point it only got our hair a little wet, or a few blotches on our shirt, but to us, what an inconvenience; it simply can’t continue any further. But, at the same time, we are the people who want to see rainbows. And I hear God asking us how? Whenever we face even the slightest of problems we want OUT, and I’m not going to say it’s not understandable, because it is. A problem is a problem for a reason, so it’s understandable that we want none of it, but, we are the same people who ask for amazing, unexpected things to happen to us, and then won’t face the conditions that allow for them to happen. And I hear God asking again, how? How do you want me to do something big in your life when you won’t let even the small things serve their purpose? It reminds me of the saying “everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain; but there can’t be a rainbow without a little rain” and this is true, especially the former part of that sentence. I know for sure, I would rather just spend my days happy than have to deal with any pain, but the question I’ve had to ask myself since I got a stern talking to from God is, but what if that pain leads to your breakthrough?
Lets just for a second use those two words interchangeably, miracle and breakthrough, because ultimately they are the same — they are the thing we need to happen for our situations to completely turnaround; they are our more, our different, our better. And we often wonder why we haven’t received our breakthrough; we’ve been praying and fasting, and calling out to God and yet dololo. But maybe it’s because sometimes we run away from being in a position of desperation, of having no other place to go, and truly relying solely on God. Instead we try to fix things ourselves, or change goal posts; we tell ourselves “I didn’t really want this that badly anyway, this is too much for too little, maybe something else is better suited for me etc”, or our pride gets in the way and we downplay our needs, or we give up completely and say “forget this desire, I don’t want it anymore”. Yet all it means is that we haven’t given ourselves room for a breakthrough to happen. We have told ourselves breakthroughs should be easy, and given up just before the best part, simply because we have had to suffer through some really bad parts. But those are the conditions, the storm, the ugly, the hard — that is what allows for the breakthrough, the testimony, the victory. How can you claim victory over a situation you haven’t overcome? My lesson from that has been you can’t. You don’t overcome by wishing whatever it is away, but by going through it. By truly getting to a place where nothing else can happen but a breakthrough. If you can still fix your situation yourself, I’m sorry, but your miracle is not coming. A solution maybe, an answer yes. But not your miracle. When you are in a position of weakness and desperation that’s when miracles happen, when you are desperate and have been through it all that’s when Gods marvellous signs and wonders show up, when you are desperate and have reached the end of yourself that’s when the atmosphere changes and God shows Himself strong. Just like in that boat. It’s these conditions that bring you to the feet of Jesus and then Jesus to your doorstep. The difficult things you keep having to go through is only the evidence of the miracle. They bring you to the place you need to be for your breakthrough to happen, for God to do what you have been asking Him to do this whole time. To fix that relationship, to increase your finances, to heal your body, to mend you family or get you that man, woman, baby, job. It’s just realising that He has authority over all things; all the things you have been told no to, all the things that seem difficult, and all the things that seem impossible, and knowing that, will determine how much you receive from Him. An answer, a way, or a miracle.
Don’t get me wrong, an answer and a way is everything, they are no small things with God, and anything that He gives you is perfect. I only just compare them to miracles to show you the magnitude of what we ask for when we ask for miracles. Because when you receive a miracle, something that has happened against all odds or when all things seem impossible, that’s when you will truly understand the miracle or blessing God has given you for what it is. Otherwise, that’s when we start saying things like “oh my, what a coincidence” but no no.. not with God. When He performs a miracle there will be no coincidence about it. You will have get to a place where you ask yourself “how was that even possible?” Look at Abraham and Sarah, not a coincidence, miracle. I mean who would have thunk it. I want you to try be 90 years old and conceive. Look at Blind Bartimaeus, not a coincidence, miracle. Who could have seen that happening? Not him, ha-ha, just kidding. But for real, Nothing but the hand of God could have turned his situation around. Also look at Lazarus and even Jairus’s daughter, not a coincidence, miracle. We all know how impossible this is despite what these false prophets try and tell us. And that’s the thing, with a miracle, there has to be no other explanation or way to the breakthrough besides God, besides His hands, His works, His power. And unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you see it) you have to get to that place that allows for that to be true. Metaphorically speaking you have to be a 90 year old barren women, a blind man, dying, or even dead. You have to face the impossible because a prerequisite for a miracle is the impossible. But the end result is beautiful.
So I guess the work that we — I’m speaking on behalf of all of us again — need to do, is remember that when we are being challenged, the situation presents the context for a miracle. We must not run away, or switch goal posts, give up or curse God. We just need to trust Him, declare His goodness and faithfulness, and believe in the signs that we see that speak of a miracle. Because He is setting us up. Let’s let Him.