My eyes barely left the screen, riveted by what I was seeing. It was few years ago when revival broke out in Lakeland, Florida. There was a special Holy Spirit outpouring and impartation that was a wonder to behold. We joined in, prayed and sang along, hearts and voices linked via GOD TV satellite transmission, lapping it up like thirsty desert dwellers.
Miracles were almost commonplace, as were signs and wonders. Each day thousands of people were saved, brought into God’s Kingdom, baptised. They were rescued and restored, healed from whatever chains had held them captive – be it addiction, disability, sickness or pain of any kind – and given a fresh anointing to serve and live more freely for Christ.
It initiated a deep soul yearning within, brought back hope, stirred my faith enormously. Maybe this… this event, this special manifestation of God’s presence was a sign of physical healing being available and imminent for me too? My faith said yes and my heart truly believed it to be possible. I ached for relief from the burden of chronic illness and disability that had stolen many active years from me.
Amongst the healing taking place, I witnessed a paralysed woman, wheelchair-bound for over 20 years rise up and walk, unsteadily at first as limbs trembled with weakness and unaccustomed exercise. A few weeks later I saw her again – bubbling over with health, strength and vitality, walking steady on her legs, dancing (in high heels!), and so joyful with the amazing changes wrought in her previously wounded, broken body.
Tears filled my eyes as I celebrated the tremendous miracle they were privy to. Oh how I longed to be that woman! But it wasn’t to be. I couldn’t wish/pray/faith my way into a miracle. It wasn’t my time, nor my healing. I felt crushed at first. Many had been healed, why not me? Plenty of people had prayed for me over the years, so why didn’t it happen?
Questions tore away at my soul. Had God forgotten about me? No never. Did He love me any less than these? No way. God loves us all the same, unconditionally, wholly. He doesn’t play favourites. But when we get disappointed our perspective can become skewed. We can fail to appreciate how God loves us more than we realise and has an individual plan for our lives. My faith resides in The Healer Himself, regardless of anything.
Once we moved on from watching the revival, I began to reflect how God had already healed my emotions when I was finally able to fully forgive those who had abused me sexually and emotionally as a child. Wasn’t that miracle enough? I’d gone through a lifetime of sadness and sorrow while I absorbed the guilt and shame. It was pure gift and grace to reach this major milestone after many raw years of counselling and deep emotional pain.
We tend to forget how salvation itself is the greatest miracle of all. It signals the start of a lifelong journey of being saved from ourselves, receiving restoration, renewal and sanctification leading to developing greater Christ-likeness. God’s greatest goal for each one of us is that we come to know Him personally and surrender all we are into His hands, trust Him for every step we take, each stage along the way.
Sometimes miracles shout their name; sometimes they slip in unannounced, like shafts of sunlight filtering through curtains. What if we listened with greater intent, tried to hear how our lives are speaking to us? Maybe we would see and sense miracles everywhere, sacred slivers of God’s grace invading and pervading the commonplace.
Because the greater miracle could look more like being sustained to stay put, to endure pain, grief, suffering, struggle, and to know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is right there with us in the dust and ashes. He companions us through everything but relies on us to invite Him in. Over the last few years God has been teaching me to look for the marvel in the mess, the miraculous in the mundane and the eternal in the temporal.
Each day we can consciously search out God’s fingerprints on our lives, carve out time to sit with Him, make space for the miraculous as we go about our ordinary-extraordinary. I’m learning how it leads to greater awareness of grace and deeper gratitude and praise. We don’t have to wait for a revival or a sudden miracle to happen. God willingly revives weary hearts, minds and bodies whenever we turn to Him.
I’m discovering that healing is a journey, not a destination, a process which looks different for all of us. Even if the healing doesn’t come in this lifetime, God is still good and faithful. You and I are already being changed day by day on the inside, whether we are fully aware of it or not, and that’s quite a miracle when you stop and think about it.
Joy asked us to bless you with this worship song that she feels epitomizes what she has shared with us:
Joy Lenton is a grateful grace-dweller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days, penning poetry and prose in her PJs. As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.
She has had poetry published in various anthologies over the years and is author of ‘Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life’s hard places’. Joy is also a contributor to the Association of Christian Writers (ACW) ‘More than Writers’ and Godspace blogs.
Although housebound and unable to get to church, Joy finds online fellowship and friendship with like-minded writers, and she is strengthened and sustained by the practice of contemplative prayer. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter and find her writing her heart out at ‘Poetry Joy’ and ‘Words of Joy’.