Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Has anything changed?

After what I described as defining moments and answered prayers in Barcelona, I've found myself wondering: Has anything changed?

The answer seems to be yes and no.

No, because I'm still disorganized, I procrastinate, and I let opportunities slip by. And because I already believed in miracles but just hadn't given them as much thought.

Yes, because I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't prayed with renewed faith that God will intervene in what appear to be impossible situations.

So, I pray for miracles. As I do, I realize that sometimes the miracle is sanity. Patience. Gratitude. And sometimes it really is the desired thing that seems impossible except with God's intervention.

-- The soul and spirit of loved ones who are good people, but I'm not sure they have the relationship with Christ that my faith and theology tell me is essential for their eternal salvation.

-- Those troubled by addictions, compulsions and/or mental distress.

-- A dear couple going through heartache and heartbreak over children and parents.

-- A four-decades-plus marriage that seemed to be on a strong Christian foundation and an example for all, and now is coming to an end.

-- Chaos, conflict and oppression throughout the world.

-- Situations where hard-working, conscientious and dedicated workers are pushed to near impossible limits.

Really, I'm not sure whether these need miracles or just healing. I lift them up to the Lord, praying in faith, trusting Him.

Today's reading from a 12-step devotional seemed appropos for my Barcelona experience and also as I continue to pray for God's intervention in all those varied situations. It's a quote attributed to French dramatist Jean Anouilh: "True miracles are created by men when they use the courage and intelligence that God gave them."

Of course, I don't take that to mean that people create miracles, but I do believe God sometimes uses people to orchestrate His divine plan. And sometimes He doesn't.

Speaking of miracles, sometimes the words of Isaiah 40:28-31 seem miraculous. Is this really possible? And of course the answer is yes!

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

And the following aren't miracles, but they are promises and prayers I take to heart as I wrap this up:

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” —Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” —Numbers 6:25–26

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