12/13/08

Looking for the Miraculous

It’s been a little over a year ago since I started writing this blog. My first post was about the tragedy and despair that I experienced as a gunman terrorized our church. Whatever hope I had was stripped away that Christmas. A year later…I have hope. Not because we have a president that made his campaign on hope, but rather a hope that does not come from any man. This is the hope that I have come to wrap my arms around. For me, this year ushers in a year where all of my labor has started to bear fruit. I felt as though I stepped into the spotlight, and it was suddenly my opportunity to step up on the conductor’s podium and direct the orchestra. Sometimes I stumbled, like a child learning to walk, but most times I was walking if not running. Eight months into the year though, my conductorship and faith would be challenged. I was in hot-Bama, Birmingham to be specific, and this was our last Desperation Youth Conference that we were hosting in 2008. I was tired and after producing two other successful conferences I was exhausted and arrogant coming into the last conference. The road signs leading up to this last conference did not look good. Registration made this one the smallest conference of the three, and was financially going to be a burden and strain on us. Because registration was so low, I had written it off two weeks in advance. When we got there, I happened to be praying and was just praying in uncertainty…which meant that I didn’t know what to say. I’ve come to find that when we do all of the talking in any conversation, we never give the other person any airtime to speak. So I gave God plenty of room to talk because I had nothing to say. He had this to say to me, “You had your opportunity to shine at the other two events, but now it’s My turn to shine.” Shine He did. Registration sextupled! Lives were changed. I was humbled. I was humbled so much so, that in worship all I could do was sit there and watch. I was stupefied and had no answers other than God did a miracle. Everything seemed to be bleak and dark, and then all of a sudden Jesus came, as the Light of the World, to shine His light and brilliance. I felt so blessed and so undeserving. I was constantly asked, “Where was my faith!?!” I don’t know where it was other than the fact that I had come to rely upon my gifts and talents so much so, that I forgot about the One that had given me those gifts. The ultimate truth that I want to reiterate at Christmas time and in reviewing the year is that God is Emmanuel. He is always with us. This holiday season, I am reminded that in good times and bad, God is with us. It doesn’t mean that He’s with us politically or economically, or that He will give us whatever we want, but that He is with us like a family member, and more importantly as our savior.
When you see a miracle and witness one first hand, you’re left looking for the miraculous every where you go. I see a miracle when I look at the sunset. I see a miracle when I reflect upon my own life (I’m a miracle baby). I see a miracle when I look into a widow’s eyes. I see a miracle when I look at the Compassion child I sponsor. Every time I drive to work, I look at a church that should be demolished after two years of internal scandal and external persecution and I see miracle. The miraculous is all around us, you just have to look for them. Theologically I’m not sure that I can prove this, at least not yet, but the miraculous seem to go hand and hand with humility. After all, you don’t have to possess anything special to see the miraculous, just look for the star and the child that lay in a manager to see a miracle.
I'm curious what your miracles were this year? Leave a comment and share what has happened in your life this year!

1 comment:

Cameron Schaefer said...

My miracle this year was the birth of my beautiful daughter Malone. I know, you're thinking, that's what everyone says, but there's a reason why everyone does...it really is incredible!

Seeing human life come from nothing is an awesome miracle and to be a part of it and witness to it makes it even more meaningful.

Watching Malone grow and develop fills me with joy everyday. It has given me deep insight into the father heart of God and the love that a father has for his child...unashamed, unchecked, overflowing love. And God loves us with a perfect love, far greater than anything we could ever muster.

Definitely a miracle!