Redefining the Miracle

When I was sixteen and a new believer, my eyes were always open for a miracle. I hadn’t looked for God over much of my life … and then, one day, I did. Then, looking became a part of my life. One of my friends told me how, as he wrestled with discovering if God was “real,” nearly every streetlight he parked under went out until one day, an entire parking lot of lights went dark as he pulled in. God breathed through the natural world to reach him.

Those were the days of miracles and not just miracle parking spots. I prayed for friends to come to know Jesus and they did. I asked for open doors and they opened.

God was everywhere … then.

And that early way of what I thought was book-of-Acts-living traveled with me. It wasn’t childish, it was childlike. But as my understanding of God and the Word and His role in my life grew with me, I’m not so sure my understanding of miracles did. While I lost some of the buoyant expectancy beautifully laced with childhood, I didn’t lose my perspective on the close-knit nature of God’s love and His willingness to move mountains just to reach me. God will move my mountain became my thinking.

You may know flavors of this: we get fixated upon one thing, one way, one path through. We show up for it each morning and fall asleep in its arms at night. And we call this the miracle. We liken it to childlike expectancy — God can move mountains. We’re like my four and seven-year-olds who perch themselves in our upstairs window seats scouring through the one break in the wintry trees for dad’s car coming home from work. “IT’S HIM!” Pause. “No wait .. not yet. But I see headlights, maybe this next car is him!”

We applaud others, like us, with faith like this — fixed on one thing.

All the while (I propose), God is often moving … a different mountain.

We consider ourselves to be young and wild and free, yet perhaps we’re more bound to a particular expression of God’s miraculous way than we’re willing to admit.

I lived here: full of faith for the shift. Of course, God wants to move here. The desire deep within me was good — it was for a good and right and holy thing. . . a “biblical” way. I considered Him to be celebrating my teeth-gritted faith.

But this particular mountain didn’t move.

And in the meantime, I created the exhaustion of my life: it was rooted in that celebrated, determined “faith.”

Some of what we think of as faith is deeply wearying to a soul that wasn’t meant for the specific kind of miracles we imagine.

But, as I sat perched, like my little girls, staring at that one single mountain for years — day and night, God was moving another behind me.

It turns out … God is everywhere.

And you might never have noticed it unless the mountain in front of you hadn’t moved when you wanted it to.