Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing testimonies and devotions from some of our band members.
Today we want to share another thought from Willie Young.
Look around you. Life is full of miracles. Miracles that take your breath away. Some are spectacular and make your eyes water as the impact hits you. Others are understated, almost modest in their seeming simplicity. A few could almost escape your attention, and we require to delve beneath the surface to discover their truths and significance. All of them, though, every single miracle, finds a way of happening out of a great need, out of an interaction between elements in Nature , out of a desire to find a cure from some affliction, for a fledgling bird to take its first flight, or for a new-born infant its first breath of life-giving air.
There never has been a time in history, human or otherwise, when miracles did not happen. Just think of all the different experiences in your own individual life and the events which you consider have surpassed the expectations of whatever you imagined could ever take place in your life, experiences which are so deeply embedded in your consciousness and have elevated your faith to a level which has enriched your whole outlook on living. Wow!
Jesus knew all about this. He had it all worked out – and he certainly understood that miracles taking between himself and other people partly depended on a deep knowledge of the society they lived in. He knew his people, their beliefs, their fears, the political uncertainties of a nation steeped in historical conflict; and, above all, the hope they shared of finding a leader to save them from their inherited sense of impotence.
One example of this is when Jesus was asked to cure a man’s lack of sight. Jesus went through a process that would have symbolic relevance for the crowd who were watching. He might well have laid his hands on the man’s eyes to restore his sight; but Jesus also knew that, in his society, certain strongly-held beliefs counted. So, slowly, deliberately, and in full view of the watching crowd, he bent down, spat on the ground and made a paste with his spittle and the soil – an act immediately recognised by the people as it was widely believed that the saliva of an important person contained healing properties.
On another occasion, Jesus exercised his full understanding of human nature by demonstrating his ability to produce a miracle from a very human situation – at the “feeding of the five-thousand”. The story is familiar to all of us and needs no reiterating here. Let me simply remind you, therefore, that the real miracle was not what took place at the event (that is, producing enough food to feed a large gathering), but what, it is hoped, happened in the minds of the people who were there – that when we put aside our sense of self-preservation and selfishness, and rid ourselves of the instinct to hold back what we possess for our own satisfaction, then God can use our “self-denial”, our willingness to share with and give to others. God will always provide the sources of miracles, but we also must be prepared to be complicit in activating miracles by bringing to God’s service ourselves, our willingness, our skills and talents, our belief that miracles still, will, happen.
So … look around you. Life is full of miracles, miracles that take your breath away!