Saturday, December 26, 2015
Many instances of God at work in our lives go unnoticed. Maybe you're running late getting to school or work and you come upon the scene of an accident. We often drive right by without thinking that, "That could have been me if I was running on time."
We don't tend to think about stuff like that because nothing really happened. But what about the things that DO happen? The life changing events in our lives . . . are they really of God? Do we say, "Only You, God" in our prayers of thanks?
When Israel was fleeing the Egyptians (Exodus 14) and Moses raised up his staff towards the Red Sea, did the people really think that Moses did that? No! Only God could have done something like that! Only God could have delivered His people in such a way by separating the waters of a sea to create a walking path!
Still not all "miracles" are of God. That parking spot we found right by the entrance to the mall on Black Friday is probably just random chance. The Packers kicking a game-winning field goal with time running out is probably not "an act of God." Those things COULD be examples of God intervening in our lives, but probably not.
I am planning a building project when I retired. It's a rather ambitious project and I have had my doubts about whether or not I can accomplish it and if my idea is "of God." The idea is to build homes for the homeless. Specifically teens, young adults and veterans - ANYBODY in need. That is rather an ambitious project for someone with marginal ability and finances. But in the past few months, as I have told people about this idea, I have been amazed at their willingness to help. For free!!
A structural engineer, a plumbing designer, an architect, a cabinet maker - all have signed on as willing members of this "miracle" team. I have also seen the need in the lives of several acquaintances of mine who could benefit from this program. Example after example of people who could use a safe place to stay. Hmm. But there is one example that stands out among all the rest.
I got a call from a local pastor, requesting that we meet. He told me he represented a group of 20-30 men and women who "felt led" to do something for our area's displaced (homeless) teens but had no idea what to do. Uh . . .
When I told this pastor my ideas about a building / mentoring program, he began taking notes. After I had finished my brief description of what I was planning he said, "That's odd. You are planning a rather ambitious building project. Half of the men in the group I represent . . . are builders."
In my opinion, only God could arrange something like that!
When we meet challenges in our lives, or obstacles, seemingly to large to overcome, do we give up quickly on them or not even attempt them because they are simply "too big"? NOTHING is "too big" for God. It is our faith that is too small!
"14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” - Matthew 17:14-20
I think God does things in our lives for a reason . . . a purpose. And I also believe that, when He does them, He will do them in such a way that will leave us KNOWING that ONLY GOD could have done something like that. GOD will get the glory, not us. And that's the way things SHOULD be.
How is your faith? How strong is your belief that God can do ANYTHING? We must believe and not doubt. I have seen many things happen in my own life that are examples of "divine intervention" but still I doubt. Where is MY faith? Where is MY trust in God that "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13)? I tend to fall short in my faith and trust. My prayer is that my strength in those areas of my faith life might increase.
May I have more faith and trust in You, Lord. May my faith be capable of moving mountains, not because I can move them, but because I KNOW that ONLY YOU can.
Only You - The Platters (1955)