Seeing the miracles?

Seeing the miracles?
I’m often stressed, a person who likes things done right and efficiently.   I do not say that as a matter of pride.  Too often my driven nature leads me to sin against God and others. Some of my deepest regrets are the result of putting my work first and failing to create gaps in time to savor a conversation – to just be ‘in the moment.’  My obsession with ‘getting things done’ has robbed me of appreciation for many of life’s miracles.
A story in the gospel of John tells of people who were so committed to their pre-conceptions, so gripped by their ideas about what God wanted, that they missed a miracle that was right in front of their eyes.  Take a look –
“Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed— lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking!”
What an amazing development, a cause for celebration and rejoicing, right?   After 38 years a man is walking, whole, on his feet!  You would think that everybody who saw him would be infected with his joy, overcome with his excitement.  And, you would be wrong!    Read on –  
But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders objected.
They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! It’s illegal to carry that sleeping mat!”
He replied, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.’ ”
“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.
But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.””
(John 5:2-14, NLT)
I am amazed by their love for tradition that kept them from seeing the miracle! A man was healed after 38 years of being crippled and they only saw a man carrying his bedroll in violation of their religious traditions!   That was not the only time in Jesus’ life when He ran into people who missed the miracle. In the 12th chapter of Matthew, we are told that he healed a man with a deformed hand.   There, too, the Pharisees only saw that He did it on the Sabbath, in violation of their prohibition against doing ‘work,’ so instead of rejoicing that a man was healed, they “discussed plan to kill Jesus.”  
Yes, that is how easy it is to miss the miracle when we’re consumed by our own pre-conceived ideas. I’ve missed my share of miracles, too, because I was focused on my plans, my ideas, my needs and unwilling to enter into the experience of another person in a way that let me feel their wonder, share their joy (or sorrow),  or see what God was really doing in and/or through them.
Today, the God of wonder is at work!  And He will be working in your neighborhood, and mine, too. The question is, will we perceive His work?
Will we rejoice with those in whom He is working?
Here’s a word from the Word, Jesus’ words of frustration with those who would not see what He was doing.   Let these words challenge you to celebrate the wonder, to open your eyes to the miracles of the hand of God who is here, now!    
“To what can I compare this generation?  They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ”‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.” (Matthew 11:16-23, NIV)


Lord of all creation-
Of water, earth, and sky;
Heavens are your tabernacle,
Glory to the Lord on high!
Early in the morning,
I will celebrate the Light. 
When I stumble in the darkness,
I will call Your name by night.
God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy!
The universe declares your majesty,
You are holy, holy!
Lord of heaven and earth!
Lord of heaven and earth!
God Of Wonders
Steve Hindalong
New Spring Publishing© 2000
CCLI License No. 810055

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