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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Looking For Miracles Changes Everything

 Looking for miracles has changed everything for me this year. At the start of 2016, I kept coming back to two words: "faith" and "expect." In my spirit, I kept sensing God speaking that He was going to do great things. Miracles were in store - but I would miss them if I wasn't living each day in grace, if I wasn't choosing to see with eyes of faith. 
 Time and again since then, He has brought me back to those themes and has reminded me that this year is the year of His choosing to show me mighty things. There have been moments when I felt like the fight against fear was too overwhelming. There have been times when I simply wanting the pain to stop. I just wanted to walk away and ignore what was going on. And yet, each time, His voice kept on saying, "But you'll miss the blessing." 
 This promise of hope has sustained me through many a spiritual challenge this year. We're only half-way through 2016, but I can honestly say that I've experienced more miracle moments than I can ever remember. God has showed up. And usually it's been just after a dark moment. At the times when I've been at my lowest, in those minutes of frustration and fear when all I could think of was escaping the trial I found myself in...He always followed that up with the assurance of: "keep looking for miracles." 
 Most recently, as I have walked through the fear of my dad's health scare, I have come to understand what went so wrong in my soul all those years ago. The first time through this hospital journey in 2007, I chose to listen to my fears rather than to Him. I had no concept of what living in grace was like. I turned my back in anger and said, "Look God, if you're truly Who you say you are, then please remove this pain from me. I can't take it anymore. If you don't remove this, than you must not love me and you must be a liar." Oh, how I now regret those words ever being spoken. But it's true: I saw with my own sight instead of His. I kept looking for a way out instead of a way in - a way into the dark places of the soul but a way that eventually would set me free. 
This time around, my soul was open. I still fought my old self hard. I still confronted my fears every day. And sometimes they seemed greater than I could bear. But looking for the miracles was the difference. 
 You see, when you face life with expectation and hope - when you choose to look for the ways in which God shows up, big things happen. You notice His goodness in places where you least think it will be. You feel His love in ways you never expected. Faith speaks (sometimes against our natural will) that God has not abandoned us - even in our worst moments - and that the Light will find its way through. Faith teaches us to believe - even though all we want to do is worry and stop trusting. 
 I am beginning to finally understand that God never stops working. Sometimes His hand may be obscured. Sometimes His love may feel distant. Sometimes He may be silent for awhile and no answer comes. But He never ceases His renewing work. He never stops resurrecting the dead places. He never quits on His on-going efforts to restore our broken hearts. Yes, a miracle sometimes necessitates going through the impossible. Yes, a miracle often must come at a great price of self-denial and inner pain, but the best things always come with high cost. Of what worth would be they be otherwise?! 
 And so...I once again turn over my aching heart to the One who is making me new. And I say, "I will keep looking. Even when the clouds of hopelessness hide Your face and I think all is lost. I will believe. Because I know then that a miracle of Your creating is on the way. "