I found myself saying to God, “What’s the store of miracles you’ve created for me?” He replied, “There is no miracle. It is you.” I said, “Oh.” He said, “Well prove it.”
I studied physics at Caltech before coming to sedimentology in Hawaii on the Big Island. In the physics class we learned that a miracle is a type of energy. They called it the essence of all miracles. The professor told us that it’s impossible to identify a miracle. No one has ever before taught us or even identified one. So, he said, “God’s miracle lies in the concept of energy.”
I took that to heart because a miracle is the impossible. It’s the creation of energy from nothing. It’s creation from the non-physical. God is the sum total of energy–the entire unseen spirit world. We cannot see it, but it is everywhere.
Suppose God gave us two boxes of clay. One side had the words, “Good Things.” The other side had the words, “Evil Things.” Which box would we be willing to buy? We may think that the “Good Things” box must be better. But wait. The “Evil Things” box could be worse. It’s filled with stuff that’s worse than the stuff of hell. We need to see both boxes.
Then we need to feel something. We need to take it to the bank. Does it make sense? We cannot see it, but it is everywhere. It’s the energy that creates the miracle, not one specific thing.
The good news is that the energy of God is the energy of abundance. The bad news is that it takes a lot of hard work to create an abundance. It is the cooperation of people, not just a few people. It’s the feedback system that generates a feedback that provides consistent growth.
We can’t master our own miracles but we sure can master the other side of the arc. One search and the “Good Things” box is the home we wanted. The “Evil Things” box is the home we denied. We ended up with neither because of a decision not to buy one. The lesson is to keep our perspectives in healthy balance. We can’t always control what happens around us, but we can control our reactions to what happens. Balance the spiritual thankfulness with the practical gratitude.
I’ll never forget the story of five-year-old Jonas. One day his sheep was caught in a trap and delivered one way, but they were all dead weight and probably would have eaten themselves. They were obviously dead and the four-legged entering the box probably would have gnawed them if they could have gotten out of the box.
But Jonas was so hungry he opened the box and greedily took in everything he could taste. Then he leaned forward over the edge and swallowed all in without a second thought. His mother, bless her, watched in amazement.
Gratitude almost always precedes miracles. We see it in the Old Testament over and over again. “Blessed be the God, who daily loads us with benefits,” begins the 23rd Psalm. When we approach God, thankful in advance for the many blessings He will bestow on us, it’s a good idea to take it even step further. “I heard the Lord say, ‘Whew, I am flexible.’ ” To me this is the perfect excuse to not ask for more blessings because you are flexible about them all already!
Think about what you would do if you were generous with your blessings. Would you buy a bigger house for the family? Go live in Africa for seven years? Do you deserve that luxury? No! You do not! So why are you willing to pay more for it? It’s your faith that you have in the generosity of God. Do not forget that the splendour of the miracles of God are far higher than our infatuations with the dramas of our lives. The difference between the two is the difference between a deception and an unveiling. Jesus called the latter a deception in the New Testament.
Never underestimate the power of faith. And never underestimate the wondrousness of the miracle of the Lord. By faith we receive our physical and emotional needs, though often the two seem infinitely separated, in this case, of course.
Gratitude is an act of faith and an act of trust. We may not have the physical or emotional needs of others ringing at the door, but we may yet have Jesus – body, soul, and spirit.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.