Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Miracle

The tomb is there, the man wrapped in burial dressing is standing in front of the gaping black hole where the stone has been rolled away. An outstretched arm is visible in the foreground, but it is the shadow against the tomb that draws my eye. The body seems huge, the arms spread wide, and there is power in the shadow, life giving power.

A friend found it at a discount book store, a treasure hidden in the stacks, a book with pictures from the movie, Jesus of Nazareth. In it is this picture of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. I’ve searched for this book, for this picture, because it is in this one image that I see the greatest miracle in my life.

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Miracle: An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

To me the word miracle seems foreign, it seems empty and yet full at the same time. Have I ever seen a miracle? Have I seen something that is so awesome, so inexplicable, that I can only attribute it to the hand of God? My first answer would be no, but then I feel convicted because I am missing the greatest miracle in my own life. An act that goes against everything that the laws of nature hold to, that is supernatural in its origin and that is only accomplished by an act of God.

I died.

And now I live.

Did you catch that? There is only one explanation for that: miracle.

There is no way to explain that I, Katie, died, my life ended, and yet I live again. There is only one explanation for this: miracle.

An event that is inexplicable by the laws of nature.

I died and now I live.

Miracle.

I know that I’m hitting this point over and over, but repetition makes a point. This was a miracle. It wasn’t a normal event; there was nothing about it that is explainable by the laws of nature, by the laws of man, by reason.

Miracle.

And I have a story of this miracle. A story of the moment I died and the moment I lived. It is mine and mine alone. No one else has my story, no one else has my personal miracle.

But many of you have stories that have the same miraculous event. Many of you have died and many of you now live.

Miracles.

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We all came by this miraculous event differently. Our paths vary as much as our personalities. Some of us have what we would call “easy” stories, death and life came quickly and with little pain. Others have “tough” stories, ones filled with pain and suffering and a journey that lasted a long time on a tough road.

But one thing unites us all; one thing brings all of our paths to the same glorious point in the road.

We all died.

And now we all live.

Miracle.

Each act is a miracle. Each story tells of the miracle of life coming from death.

Miracles.

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There is no hierarchy for miracles. You can’t have one miracle be more miraculous than another. A miracle is just that, a miracle.

While our stories vary and our paths are singular to our lives, not one of us is any less of a miracle than the other.

We all died and we all now live.

Miracle.

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I spent quite a few years in youth ministry and heard many students say that they had been a Christian their whole life. It wasn’t until the third or fourth time that I heard this statement that I realized how arrogant it was. And then I heard other students say how boring their testimony was. God really hadn’t had to save them from much. They weren’t saying it with words, but really they meant that God didn’t have to do too much to get them to eternal life. All they needed was a little nudge to get them to holiness. Arrogance.

Where are the miracles? They’re there. If you have eternal life, a miracle has occurred. But where is our acknowledgement of the miracle. When did we become so blind to the glorious fact that every act of salvation is a miracle?

We die and now we live.

Miracle.

Not one of us is saved from any less or any more than the person next to us. Each of us is under a penalty of death, each of us die and then each of us experience the miracle of life.

My salvation is the greatest miracle I will ever experience in my life. And I am so ashamed to admit I take it for granted daily. I forget the miracle of my life, the miracle of knowing Christ as my savior, the miracle of God loving me and giving His son for me, the miracle of the new life I live, the eternal life I can now claim.

I died and now I live.

Miracle.

And I mourn that I have let my mind and my heart think that my miracle was any less grand than another’s. The thought that my miracle is less might seem humble, but it is arrogance, it is spitting in the face of my Savior as He hangs on the cross. It is telling Him and the world that my salvation didn’t cost that much of His life, that I needed less blood from His broken body to cover my sins. When in fact I needed His entire life, I needed all of His blood, I needed the hours on the cross, the pain, the beatings, the laying down of His life. I needed the miracle that He died and then He lived.

I died and now I live.

Miracle.

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I love the song Amazing Grace. I love the cry of the heart of a person who is faced with the wretchedness of their life and yet sees the miracle of salvation.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now, I see.

Miracle.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.

Miracle.

Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come. T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far and Grace will lead us home.

Miracle.

When we've been here ten thousand years bright shining as the sun. We've no less days to sing God's praise then when we've first begun.

Miracle.



I died and now I live.

Miracle

9 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie said...

Katie: Thanks for the humbling reminder of what I absolutely take for granted every day.

Love that you dig deep like this: Helps to keep my wheels turning!

11/16/2005 11:59 AM  
Blogger Brian Gardner said...

Great post Katie. In one of the darkest hours of my life, my step-father (atheist turned minister) reminded me that nothing I have ever done was unforgivable by them (my parents) or by God.

My step-father saved my life that night by reminding me of what Jesus did on the cross.

11/16/2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger Broken Messenger said...

Katie,

Beautiful stuff. Thank you.

Brad

11/16/2005 1:28 PM  
Blogger Müzikdüde said...

Wow.
I've just come through a few years of heavy trial and I'm on what I hope to be the tail end of it all. Somewhere in the middle of the darkness I began to see miracles and God's plan but only because I stayed focused on Him.

Oh, and remember, Katie, that you are in your own right a miracle. It began withthe miracle of your birth and continued the second time you were born.

11/16/2005 2:21 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Wow. I've missed your posts K-T. I was talking to our server at Texas Roadhouse about grace last night. About how it's such a great thing to meet with the people in NYC because grace is so real to them, but it should be just as real to me. I was saved from my sin just like they were. Thank you for the reminder once again.

11/16/2005 3:32 PM  
Blogger steve said...

worth the wait.

Miracles are everywhere. Every day. Everyone

11/16/2005 3:59 PM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

wow Katie that was beautiful, you put it so eloquently, I was so blessed reading this post!

He deserves our love, our respect, our all and we give so little. I was reading an article today that said Americans spend more on dog food than they do on any type of ministry, missions, etc. Sad huh?

11/17/2005 5:23 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Hm.

The level of your thinking and the wisdom that you possess is, without question, from God.

I don't say this to flatter you.
I am daily amazed how God uses you to make me think and challenge me.

Thanks for being faithful.

11/17/2005 8:53 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

thank you ben, I am humbled.

11/17/2005 8:56 AM  

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