Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dismissing a Miracle -- as a Mistake

A couple of years ago, I sat with some test results in my hands that were downright scary. Off-the-charts results in territory so dangerous that doctors’ offices across the country have been compelled to post visible warnings about this threat to one’s health.

Those disturbing results have haunted me the past two years, not knowing what type of internal damage was occurring, or what long-term ramifications could result. Or even short term! Not really knowing much of anything except that this was a serious threat. All the while wishing that somebody could just tell me what in the world I could do to fix it.

But they couldn’t. Even after enduring two full years of this silent danger, I have yet to hear any clear solutions for how to treat it. Maybe because it’s a rare problem. Or maybe because there aren’t any solutions.
I honestly don’t know.

This summer, the test was repeated to have a current snapshot. I tried to be realistic and not expect any change, but my longing for healing vied for hope, despite the reality. I unsuccessfully tried to shift my focus to the other areas being tested. But of course, when I received the results, my eyes instinctively went straight to the danger zone.

Let me pause right here. Because I don’t think it’s any coincidence that a week or two before, my son started a wonderful habit of reminding my husband and I conveniently, after we say no to something, that all things are possible . . .

Friends, the threat was completely GONE.
Not a lower risk than before. Not even low-risk numbers.

I was dumbfounded. Confused, really.
So did I jump for joy? Cry tears of relief? Or pause to thank God right away? No, I actually didn’t do any of those things. You want to know my ongoing first response?
I questioned it.

{How in the world can this be accurate? I didn’t do anything to cause this change. What if the lab made a mistake? . . . }

God was handing me a gift, and I was having a hard time receiving it.
I was holding a miracle.
But considering it a mistake.

It’s hard to receive, isn’t it? Because when we receive, we make that painful choice to set aside our pride by admitting that we’re human and have needs. (And that’s certainly another post for another time because this post is about 3 words away from crossing the line from blog to book.)

As I was pondering my response, it occurred to me that my choice as to how to respond to this gift mirrors the most important choice that each person has to make in her lifetime. It, too, is a choice of receiving.

Let me explain . . .
The Bible says that we are all “sick” with a nature that is prone to sin, which severs our ability to be in the presence of a holy God. If you read the Bible, you’ll notice that it also says that there is absolutely nothing that we can do about that nature.
All of the striving to do incredible things in and for this world doesn’t even change it. We simply cannot fix the bond that’s been broken between us and God.
But God has.

Compelled by His limitless love for us, and His desire to be in a relationship with us, God reached out and gave us a gift. An unsurpassed gift. He made a way to restore the relational bond that was broken.

When He sent Jesus to earth, He sent Him with the sole mission of reconciliation. Because when Jesus died, He procured our pardon from sin. And because our sin nature was crucified with Christ, the cross is where we find our deliverance from the power and domination of that sin nature.
Life, from death.
And when Jesus rose from the dead, He secured our new life of freedom as forever with Him for all eternity.

And after this miraculous display of God’s power of life over death, itself, the Bible says, “many did not believe” . . .

The choice is always ours, friends:
Attempt to sort out the mysteries of life rationally.
Or embrace the miracles for what they are, and set aside our pride to receive them.

Admittedly, I’m still struggling with the embracing part of this recent miracle, but my heart is set on walking by faith and not by sight.

So how about you, friend? Ever try to rationalize the supernatural? Or written off a miracle as an outright mistake?

Even though this story has a happy ending, it is still tender territory for me. As such, I would be wise to not answer the obvious “what WAS it?” question, because unfortunately, that takes my mind down trains of thought that can easily lead to lies, instead of truth. Thank you for understanding, and letting me be vulnerable with you about that.


  1. I'm so grateful for your miracle! You have been such an example of Christ through all of this (I know there have probably been times when you were spent, frustrated, discouraged, etc., but overall you have exhibited the fruit of the Spirit!)
    And what a good reminder to be thankful when God hands us a gift instead of wondering if it's "for real."

  2. It really doesn't matter what it was. It brought you to The Lord. It brought your husband, your son, your family, your friends, countless others to The Lord. That's what matters. Isn't it?

    1. oh lisa, that is indeed exactly it. thank you so much for your encouragement. i am constantly discovering that everything in life is an opportunity to run to the cross. and cling to it. whether struggles, hurts, doubts -- our Father wants us to rest in Him & His goodness through it all.

      i'm so glad you stopped by, & hope you'll visit again!
      - tanya


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