When did we stop believing that God could really do miracles?
I was listening the other day to the testimony of a man who had moved to a place unreached by the gospel. Not only that, but this place had a live and in-person witch doctor! No one was the least bit interested in hearing about Jesus, but this man put out a sign that offered free Bible lessons anyway. No one took him up on it until one day, it started to pour.
The house the man lived in wasn’t very sturdy and with all of that rain, he had keep the door open so that he could keep throwing buckets of water out of it. All day he carried those buckets, and while he carried yet another one to the door, a dog suddenly ran in, grabbed his Bible, and ran out. It was too rainy to go after the dog, so the man just sighed and kept on with the buckets.
Finally, the rain slowed to a stop and the man was able to close the door, but minutes later, a knock sounded. Surprised, he went to open it. Do you know who stood there? The witch doctor with a Bible in his hand asking to know more about Jesus! And do you know where he got the Bible? While he had been throwing buckets of water out his door, a dog had suddenly run in, dropped a Bible, and run out.
Wow, do we serve an amazing God!
I loved hearing that story! It was so encouraging! But, at the same time, my reaction got me thinking. Why did I feel so astounded when I heard that story? I think it’s good to stand in amazement of God, but was it right that I was so surprised?
I started thinking about my prayer life, and I realized how often I only pray about what seems at least vaguely possible. In my head, I know God can do miracles, but I don’t pray like I do. Then, when prayers that seem wildly illogical are actually answered with a yes, I sometimes feel a little dumbfounded. And when they are answered with a no, it is almost as if my attitude is, “That’s ok, God, it was a long shot anyway.”
I think it is that attitude is what makes it harder for me to bring everything to God with total trust and to really leave it at His feet. Sometimes, I don’t even think to add prayer into the equation.
Where does that come from? Is it because we don’t see what God is doing around us all the time? Is it because we have so little dependance on Him? Is it because we have forgotten who exactly it is we pray to?
The next time you pray, I challenge you (and myself) to kneel down in reverence and think about who God is. Really let all of His holiness and His majesty sink in as much as our human minds are even able to grasp. Let’s remember that in that moment, we are in audience with the “High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15).
As we flip through the pages of the Bible, reading about all of the miracles that God has done here on Earth, we can take so much strength and hope and trust from knowing that He is our unchanging God.
The God you pray to is the God who stopped the sun for an entire day! (Joshua 10)
The God you pray to is the One who said, “Lazarus, come forth!”, causing the dead man to walk out of the tomb (Luke 11).
The God you pray to about your seemingly impossible situation is the same God who saved the Israelites out of Egypt by sending frogs, darkness, locusts, turning water into blood, and parting the Red Sea (Exodus).
And while it might seem like the God who did those things is far from the God who we pray to in our modern day, the Bible says in James 1:17 that with God, “there is no variation or shadow of turning.” He is that very same God with that very same power and that very same care for us.
Because, not only does God have that power to work good in the world at large, He cares deeply and abundantly about you. Despite your struggles and mistakes, He loves you and wants your good too. The Bible says,”Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
We have to stop mentally trying to put God in a box. He is so far above and beyond the holiness, goodness, loveliness, power, and strength that we could ever even understand. When we pray, we are coming humbly before the throne and trusting God with every aspect of our lives because we can’t do it alone.
That is part of what it means to keep our eyes on Christ. No matter what life throws at us, we give it all to Him and we trust in Him. Nothing can shake us because He is our foundation. If we remember who He is, we will want to bring everything to Him in prayer rather than fighting it out ourselves. Because of who our God is, we can say with the psalmist, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)