Sunday, August 2, 2015

It's a Miracle Thing

God says in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." This one sentence packs a powerful punch. The Bible also tells the story of when Elijah went up into the mountains of Horab, the mount of God, looking for his Lord. In 1 Kings 19:11-12, the Lord passed by him and there was a mighty wind, an earthquake and a fire, but the Lord was not in any of those; He was in the still, small voice that spoke to Elijah. In our modern world view, we think that miraculous has to be big – like the parting of the sea for the Israelites, or a burning bush calling to Moses. To bring in some pop culture to this discussion, the movie Bruce Almighty comes to mind. Bruce, played by Jim Carrey, thinks that God has forgotten about him because everyone around seems to be getting what they want while he is left behind. When ‘God’ actually takes him up on his offer to run the world better, Bruce decides to get some things for himself first…without thinking of the consequences. After much calamity, God tells Bruce that if he really wants to see miracles, he should be the miracle. A kid saying no to drugs – that’s a miracle.  A single mom working and raising her children – that’s a miracle. Miracles are in the small, everyday things that we take for granted. Bruce had taken for granted that he had a good job, a girlfriend who loved him, and was doing what he loved – the small things.

I think we need to let go of our delusions of grandeur when it comes to miracles. God can be in the big things, because He is everywhere, but He would rather speak to us in the stillness and quiet when we can really hear Him. He cares about every aspect in our life and sometimes we get so busy, our lives get so loud, that we can’t hear Him. But if we only stop for a moment, we can grasp how much He really does care and plans things to perfection just for us because He loves us. Remember that appointment you had to go to but were running behind through no fault of your own? And how all the lights seemed to be green, traffic was light, and there were no obstructions? You probably had a fleeting thought of, “oh, wow, lucky me; traffic is light today.” What you didn’t notice was the string of angels left panting in your wake who were instructed to help you out because God knew how important that appointment was and you were not at fault for being late. He took care of you in the still, small voice.

God loves to show up big – parting of the Red Sea, raising the dead, 10 plagues, driving out demons –  but He can use the small things to make just as big an impact. Consider the story where God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on the altar to test Abraham’s faith. At the very last moment, God provided a ram caught in the bushes for the sacrifice instead. We believe it to be a miracle – just in time – but in reality, God knew Abraham would obey so He knew to have that ram ready to be sacrificed.

Right now in our lives, God has provided a ram for us – just in time. You see, our oldest cat, Aladdin, who we adopted shortly after we moved into our home 16 years ago, is not doing well. In fact, by the time you read this he could be gone. It’s hard to say goodbye to these fur-babies. They are more than pets – they are family. We come to care about them, love them, understand their meows and barks, and make the commitment to care for them like family when we invite them into our home. Although we gave Aladdin to Lorrie for her birthday the year we moved in, as you may know, the human doesn’t choose the cat – the cat chooses their human. Aladdin is an ‘every cat’ meaning he didn’t particularly choose one of us over the other. We call him our only ‘real’ cat because he’s the only feline we have right now that actually acts like you think a cat should. But over the years, he took a liking to Kellie and summoned her to bed for most of her primary school years, all the way through high school. 9pm every night, he’s calling her to bed and lying with her until she was asleep. Somehow he knew she needed something furry to help her settle in at bedtime. Now, as he nears his walk over the Rainbow Bridge, God knew Kellie would need something to fill the hole left by Al’s parting.  As if by miracle, a few weeks ago Geoff and I heard something crying near the taekwondo academy. It was a kitten – and not just any kitten. It turned out to be a female calico who looks a lot like JackJack’s baby sister, Mia, who died when she was 7 months old (which was a tough loss for Lorrie who had raised both JackJack and Mia from birth). Why is this important? Although Lorrie is the main cat whisperer in our home, Kellie was the one who took this kitten under her wing, and in turn the kitten, Mo, chose Kellie as her human. Even JackJack has embraced this new addition to the household which was important for all of us considering JackJack’s place in the cat pecking order. Al’s place can never be taken by another, but I believe God knew Kellie would need to love something else to help her heart heal, so He sent Mo and provided us the means to be able to keep her. God cares that we love our pets – His creation! – like we do and in turn took care to ensure Al’s love would continue through this new little gal. Now THAT’s what I call a miracle. In the still, small voice God spoke through that kitten, ensuring we would hear her (she’s not cried that loud since she came to live with us!). And right now, Mo and JackJack are curled up together on the back of the couch, safe, loved, and (I’m not ashamed to say), a little spoiled. All because God cares.

He cares when you’ve misplaced something you need. He cares when you want to lose weight. He cares when you want a new job. He cares when you need relief from a headache. He cares when you just need to rest because you’ve been so busy. He cares. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still and listen to Him speak. Be still and let Him lead and perform those miracles in your life, big or small.

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