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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Advent Journey: Day 23, Miracle

Miracle


I've always believed that miracles could happen, but I just didn't realize or expect that I would personally experience a miracle, or better yet, more miracles than I can count in just a few years...Today's Advent Journey word is so close to my heart, because of the miracles I have witnessed and lived out recently.  Every day, Jamie and I tell Joey he is a miracle, because he truly is our miracle baby.  When our little guy opened the advent box this morning, with his usual excitement and anticipation, we once again looked at him and reminded him that his life is a miracle!  Jamie and I are both so grateful to be alive and have this "bonus time" here on earth, as illness threatened both our lives two and three years ago...the Lord not only saved our lives and gave us this amazing gift of marriage, but our Great God defied the medical experts and surprised us with a baby we weren't supposed to ever be able to have.  Nothing is too difficult or impossible with God, nothing!  So often I forget and I doubt and I fear and I worry. So often I don't believe.  So often I rely on earthly strength and worldly wisdom, forgetting that God's WORD is truer than true, and His promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus!


While we don't always understand what God is up to, and we don't always get answers in the time or fashion that we would like, God is making miracles every day, if only our eyes and ears and hands and hearts would be open to our incredible, powerful God!  While God has not miraculously healed my vision, I have found that in the time being, the greater miracle is that when people see the tape on my glasses, they often ask what it's for (it's fun to watch strangers look at me curiously and try to figure it out!).  When they inquire, then I have the opportunity to share my story and share of all the countless miracles God has done in my life- including the miraculous healing of my hearing after being completely deaf in my left ear.  When I share about these other miracles on my journey, I can point to Jesus and His ultimate saving power- the Savior of our souls who gives life eternal.  (I'm not always as good at verbally expressing my heart- writing comes more naturally to me when I want to share things of the soul and of faith, but I eagerly ask God for those opportunities and for Him to give me the words to share...I don't want to pass up those moments!)


I don't have the time or space to write here every miracle that has occurred in my life since 2014 and even in the few years leading up to my diagnosis and Jamie's (that's why I am writing my book, to testify to God's greatness and glory), but I just want to declare today that our God is faithful, and that if you are waiting for a Christmas miracle, I am praying for you, my friend, that God will come through for you in ways that you never even imagined or expected!  God is with us, God is for us, and God is glorious!  One thing we have to remember is to not put our faith in that which we hope or ask for, but rather place our faith in the Person of Jesus Christ.  We must not place our faith in the answer we wait for, but in the One who will answer us according to His perfect and good plan.


I'll always remember what I wrote on my bathroom mirror in the summer of 2014 when I found out I had a brain tumor.  My dear friend and prayer warrior, John, who is an elderly man that is so passionate in his faith and prayers, gave me a picture of a rainbow to remind me that God makes miracles.  I stuck that picture of the rainbow to my mirror and then wrote under it, emphatically "GOD MAKES MIRACLES EVERY DAY!" I needed to remind myself of this and to wake up every morning with the expectant heart for a miracle.  If we live with the expectation and belief in what God is doing, there is incredible joy and peace.  Even if our circumstances look grim and trials seem to flood our lives and overwhelm us, there is a greater reality- the reality of the realm of the miraculous and the eternal.  Jesus Christ came to usher in life, hope, victory, and peace.  He is our miracle this Christmas and forevermore!  Even though I have experienced tangible, unbelievable miracles in my own life, on ordinary days or difficult days, I need to remind myself of this truth and to challenge myself to walk in accordance with HIS WORD and not the worries of my world.  I want to leave three scripture passages today for us to dwell on- may they saturate our souls and allow us to embrace the miracles God has for us this Christmas and in the New Year!


Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
(Mark 9:23-25)


And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:34-38)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:14-21)