“I am so ready for an angel to come,” Phil said that morning.
I’d been thinking the same.
I got up from my cot next to our daughter’s bed and joined my husband where he stood at her side. It was a ritual, a new sort of rotten routine that had just a pinch of sweetness in a mixture of pure bitter trial. I placed one hand on Charity’s hand, and my other arm around Phil’s waist. His left arm encircled me and his right rested on her unmoving leg, a prayer circle of sorts. We prayed before the day began, at the end of my watch, prior to the change of guard, and before I left to get some rest.
I raised my head toward heaven and closed my eyes. I expected the red sea to part, Moses with the face of Charlton Heston, complete with flowing robe and raised staff. I prayed for the waters to stand high and for Charity to walk with strong legs on dry ground. I anticipated drama. I had faith to move mountains. I trusted. But, like every day since the illness began, when I opened my eyes, Charity lay in unbearable eerie stillness.
“Why doesn’t He answer?” I whispered.
Weak, weary and broken, we cried like one, a ceremony of tears. It was our life.
“Is it too difficult for God?” I questioned, not because I doubted He could fix her, but because His silence didn’t dovetail with my theology.
A tiny response in my soul whispered back. “My miracles look exactly the way I want them to.”
“And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:3-5 ESV)
Jesus’ words caused an uproar.
“Blasphemy,” the crowd thought. After all, only God can pardon sins, and in effect Jesus’ pronouncement declared Himself God.
But it’s tricky because the condition of the heart is invisible, and as the crowd watched, the limbs of the paralyzed man lay immobile.
Jesus knew everyone’s thoughts. It was easy to say what couldn’t be proven.
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?”(Verse 9)
“Which is easier?” I asked, like the people that encircled the paralytic’s bed.
Were his hopes dashed or did the floodgates of his heart burst with freedom? Did he know that the deepest need of his heart and life had been answered? Did he realize that the greatest of miracles had just occurred?
Then Jesus showed His supreme authority over spiritual and physical need. He healed the paralytic, who got up, rolled up his bed, and walked.
From death to life, enemy of God to friend, slave to free, lost to found, there is no greater miracle than the supernatural act of a soul’s salvation.
While we waited by our daughter Charity’s bed and asked, “Did her thumb twitch?” “Is she trying to say something?” God reached inside into parts unyielded and undetected. I writhed under His heavy hand, to shift it, change it’s direction in spite of the fact that to be surrendered under the mighty hand of God is a place of complete safety. From death to life, enemy of God to friend, slave to free, lost to found, there is no greater miracle than the supernatural act of a soul’s salvation. Click To Tweet
Today, a string of unanswered prayers, like unleashed pop beads, ricochet through my memory. I find myself holding my breath, seeking visible miracles, or explanations, rather than gazing at the God of miracles.
I want to see the answer so I can believe, but that is backward. Spiritual trumps physical. God’s emphasis is on the unseen. His miracles are first and foremost within hidden surrenders of my heart.
I can still see it so clearly it’s like it really happened. Charity wakes up, swings her legs over the bed and hops down. His miracles are first and foremost within hidden surrenders of my heart. Click To Tweet
“Which is easier?”
He forgives. He transforms. He restores relationships, calms anger, saves marriages, removes resentment. He transforms inside out.
His power can change the very fabric of my being and that’s not at all natural. It’s supernatural.
These are miracles of daily perseverance, of face to face wonder, of long layers of time in His presence. These are the marvels for which my heart should hunger.
He is after all, the God of miracles, and His miracles look exactly the way He wants.His miracles look exactly the way He wants. Click To Tweet