A Thousand Things. On Expecting Miracles and an Open Letter to Each of You
“For all the promises of God find their ‘Yes’ in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.”–II Corinithians 1:20 ESV
To every one of you who have touched our lives in prayer, cards, meals, visits, gifts and donations and shared our story with others:
Remembrance is a powerful catalyst for gratitude and hope. After my November spinal surgery I suffered a frightening loss of memory. Besides a few blips here and there I cannot tell you what happened to me beginning in the recovery room until almost a month later. This time is lost. It is why I’ve not written here. I’ve experienced none of the usual post operative trauma, grief and sadness. I’ve not cried. I’ve not wrestled with my slow recovery. This has been a peculiar blessing. But, I’m trying to piece it together now, because it matters deeply. God was doing something so big. I can’t help but think He wanted me to step completely outside my mind for awhile so when I walked back through the door I could see the impossible made possible for exactly what it is…A MIRACLE.
People disagree about this miracle stuff. A baby born of a virgin, definitely. Water into wine at a wedding, sure. A few loaves and fishes feeding thousands of people, of course. But is God working supernatural wonders here and now?
If I’d been shown ten years ago the path God was asking us to walk would I have obeyed? Even now I see only in part what He has been doing in our hearts and lives and the hearts and lives of people around us. One thing I know for sure. We have been active participants in real miracles.
Miracle. The word holds so much power. I used to hesitate to use it much because it’s very definition implies the occurence is rare, and it should always point to Divine intervention. It’s often thrown about in careless ways that dull it’s shiny meaning. Still, I’ve read over and over the accounts in the Bible, and I know God is doing these same kinds of amazing things today. The focus of Christ’s miracles during His earthly ministry was always faith and always the heart. Even when bodies were healed, water was turned into wine and waves were made to cease He was always pointing to spirit and soul issues. He was always showing His power to bring God the glory.
Are Danica’s little ribs fused in her neck making her brain and spinal cord stable while freeing her from all pain less a miracle because God used human ingenuity and hands to accomplish the result?
“When Christ died he purchased for you the ‘Yes’ to all God’s promises, and that includes the promise to use His sovereign power to govern all the inexplicable, maddening detours and delays of your life for wise and loving purposes. He is doing a thousand things for you and for His glory in your disappointed plans.”–John Piper
There have been dark days of doubt in this Gauntlet, but deep down I’ve always known every single detail of our narrative was more about Him than us. We’ve pleaded with God for a break in the suffering. We’ve begged for a time of peace and restoration and an end to this story. We’ve ached for something new.
I’m telling you now. Something is ending. God is doing something new.
In Dan Allender’s book “To Be Told: God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future” he writes about how our culture fails to celebrate endings. He talks about the literary idea of “denouement.”
“Denouement is an ending that serves as a prelude for a new beginning; there is always a next turn in the road. A new story begins the moment an old one ends. But a denouement is a respite that calls us to stop the journey for a brief interlude–to eat, drink, sing, dance, and tell our story to others…One of our greatest failures in our busy, driven culture is that we don’t celebrate the temporary untying of a complex narrative…We don’t allow endings to be noted, let alone celebrated. Therefore we never let denouement to invigorate the upward movement of a new story. And we will only love our story to the degree that we see the glory that seeps through our most significant shattering. To see that glory, we must enter into and read our tragedies with confidence they will end better than we ever could imagine.”
A thousand things. God was always saying, “Yes.” He is still saying, “Yes!”
Our gratitude for ALL your love is rippling now. It flows from us. We eagerly expect the new things God has planned for our family.
When Danica first became so ill we closed every note and email with a Willa Cather quote, “Where there is great love there are always miracles.”
Expect miracles. I’ve see miracles. We’ve seen miracles. By Him. Through Him. To Him. All glory. Forever and ever. Amen.
(This song by Christa Wells is such an important part of our life soundtrack. So many times little Danica would ask me to play it. We would cry. Could God use all this ‘exquisite pain’ to do a thousand things?)
JuneFebruary 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm (5 years ago)
Beautiful post, Monica. So thankful that God is working in your lives in such a way that inspires these truths to come pouring forth from the fount of blessing and miracles (yes, miracles!) that He is pouring over your lives. Continued prayers.
SherylFebruary 9, 2018 at 8:28 pm (5 years ago)
I love you dearly.