I wanted the big miracle. I was praying for the big miracle. I wanted God to change my breast cancer diagnosis to cancer-free, dumbfounding the doctors. I wanted God to banish the tumor, no surgeon needed. I wanted God to make my cancer journey easier, shorter and cheaper.
Every test result and every doctor’s visit was a painful reminder that my big miracle didn’t happen. Words of advice helped me to recognize what I needed as much as the big miracle. Words from a stranger who I met through a phone conversation arranged by a mutual friend. This breast cancer survivor advised me to quit praying for God to take away the cancer and to start praying for what was around the corner.
Her words spoke to my heart. I was so focused on the big miracle on my terms that I overlooked the miraculous in each day. Finally, I was able to rejoice in the miracles present all along. God’s confirmation of the medical team to guide my care. God’s peace for the type of treatment chosen. God’s comfort through the people he placed in my life. All miracles at just the right time in the perfect way from the heart of God to my troubled heart.
Oh, I continued to pray for the big miracle as we are taught to be bold in our requests. I know that God is more than able to deliver on the big miracles. But I also learned to trust God for the time in-between the big miracles. As I prayed for the big miracle, God in his mercy provided the bigger miracle. God desires to be in the mire of our lives. God treasures our relationship with him. Jesus chose to die on the cross to insure that relationship forever. All bigger miracles that abound for us this day. Thank you LORD for giving me the biggest miracle.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Unexpected healing oftentimes starts with an unexpected hurt. This big hurt happened many years ago when I was the Vacation Bible School director for our church. One of the lead teachers chronically missed important meetings without a good excuse. With only two weeks to go, I informed the college-aged student that I was replacing her as a lead teacher. My decision did not sit well with her mother who attended a different church. Later that day, I received a call from her mother, Jane (name changed.) She let me have it. She didn’t mince words regarding my decision, regarding my Christian witness, regarding my faith or regarding how I was raising my boys. I hung up on her and called my pastor. I asked him to make these types of calls stop. To his credit, he took care of the problem and I never received another nasty phone call. However, it did not take care of the bigger problem: bitterness and unforgiveness that festered in my heart. Several years later, as I enjoyed my Bible study group, our paths crossed again. Our group had a new member: Jane. The voice I heard was my own, thinking to myself, “Oh great, this year is ruined.” But there was another voice trying to get my attention. The Holy Spirit was suggesting I talk to her after class. Okay, not suggesting, but rather compelling me to reach out to her. I no longer recall what I said to break the ice, but I clearly remember the emotions that washed over me. As much as I wanted an apology from her, she needed to hear me say that I forgave her. We both ended up with tears in our eyes. The beautiful ending to this story of healing is that we became best friends. It didn’t happen. And it didn’t have to happen. However, God’s healing enabled us to study his word together. To fellowship together. To worship together. To pray for each other. To have unity in the body of Christ. To know the joy of forgiveness. In the hands of God, unexpected hurts can have beautiful healings.
And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.