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Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Glory Of Little Miracles

One of the things I love most about God is the way he surrounds me with a truth, right when I need it.

The holidays had been a challenge.

One weekend, I sat in the hospital in another state as my sister-in-law had cancer surgery. The next, I sat with my father (on the other side of the country) who was explaining to me how he'd been tricked into signing away any inheritance our family might receive. Because my time with my father went long, I lost my only opportunity to visit my mother's grave.

The next weekend (just days before the holiday), I was frantically trying to put together Christmas for my family. The day before Christmas Eve, I learned my sister-in-law's recovery wasn't going well, and that she'd be in the hospital for Christmas.

Christmas Eve morning I had a mini meltdown. All I could find was tears, as I anticipated tramping through stores trying to get the gifts I still hadn't purchased. I was emotionally exhausted. And I was fighting to keep shame at bay as I wasn't feeling particularly close to God, while feeling stretched with life's demandsfinances, work, family, and ministry.

What I've learned is that these are the times when, if I'll listen, God has much to say to me. That morning, I lay on my bed, face down, sobbing into the covers and prayingsurrendering and asking God to purify my heart and my perspective.

After the holiday passed, the messages began arriving.

I found a Christian fiction book in a new second-hand shop by my house. Two-thirds of the way into the book, the first message came...

"Sounds to me like you're missing all the little miracles just because you want the big miracle to hurry up and happen."  from Lights of the Veil

I was hit with a jolt of conviction. The words spoken to the main character in Patsy Metzer's novel summed up exactly where I found myself. Forgetting to watch for the little miracles in my longing for big miracles. I was back in the old familiar territory of wanting to receive big proof that all of this hard work, all of this heart, all of this struggle really means something. I put the book down, and asked God to open my eyes and my heart to his work.

The next Sunday, God had more to say...

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand..." Zechariah 4:10 (New Living Version)

The Jews were stuck in much the same place that I sometimes find myself. God had done many small and big miracles for them to begin rebuilding the temple. Yet when Zerubbabel stood in the ruins of the former glory of Israel using a plumb line to level the new foundation, it seemed such a small step.

Yet, as God watched on, he saw something entirely different. He was rejoicing to see the work begin. In fact, the sight of the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand was sweet.

I found myself pouring through Zechariah, hungry for more, pledging to God to learn to rejoice in the small beginnings.

But God wasn't finished yet... When I spent some time with a good friend trying to find her way out of a deep emotional wound, she shared the scripture that has been her safety net...

"The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins, he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing." Isaiah 51:3

Where do my and God's perspective differ?

I see ruins. God is filled with compassion.

I see a spiritual desert. God sees Eden.

I see a wasteland where nothing seems to be growing. God sees the garden of the Lord.

I wonder if God will ever sing over me again. God fills his garden with thanksgiving, gladness, joy, and the sound of singing.

Once my perspective changed, I began to see so many miracles...

-- The one person who wrote in sharing how Secure in Heart changed her life.

-- My sister-in-law's good prognosis and deeply spiritual response to her difficulties.

-- The new job that my youngest son landed (and the excitement he has about working two jobs!)

-- The client who called raving about the unique Victorian stapler I gave her for Christmas.

-- The preciousness of being able to walk with God, in all of my weakness and my sinfulness.

-- The privilege of being able to minister through whatever life brings to me.

Do you, like me, ever struggle for perspective?

Remember, little miracles, small beginnings, even deserts, ruins and wastelands in God's book are reason for great rejoicing! But even more so, I find great peace in knowing that my father, my God, sings over me, even in my faltering steps forward.

"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

For further reading: Isaiah 62:4-6 Isaiah 65:19 Psalm 5:11

By: Robin Weidner

Learn more about overcoming insecurity by visiting www.secureinheart.com . Robin Weidner, author of Secure in Heart: Overcoming Insecurity in a Woman's Life regularly speaks to women's groups and churches about replacing the damaging lies of Satan with the unchanging truths of God. Weidner also provides resources and advice on how to address addiction and codependency within relationships.

1 comment:

Lawrence said...

Great article. I recently recorded an article about overcoming challenges. I'd love for you to check it out at www.joshuamethod.com.