by Déborah Rosenkranz
“Wow, we did get a seat in what was supposed to be a fully booked restaurant! THAT is a miracle!” How quickly and carelessly we hang this short sentence behind an everyday situation. But when we are asked whether we have already experienced “our miracle”, then it suddenly becomes very quiet. Yes, what is the miracle you are waiting for? What miracle would change your life?
Recently I sat with a wonderful couple. The husband has been in a wheelchair since he was a teenager and his wife is on the dialysis machine every other day because the doctors made a medical mistake. How I would wish them both their “miracle of healing.” But when you talk to them, you don’t get the feeling that this is what defines their joy in life.
We got on the subject of “miracles” and they said, “We are convinced that God does miracles. But the miracle doesn’t seem to be that we are healed. The miracle is that we are allowed to be happy in spite of everything! And because we have chosen to see that miracle and not wait for the healing that we humans interpret as a miracle, we have been able to experience at least as much – if not more – than healthy people.”
“In every wound there is a miracle” is a quote from one of my books. Have you ever noticed that in the word “miracle” there is also the word “wound”? So could it be that these go together? It’s a thought we don’t like to pursue too much. But it is a truth that brings clarity to our “search for miracles.”
I, too, have experienced terrible things in my life that cannot be undone. I was raped. And at that moment I believed my life was over. Definitely, there was no miracle in my wound here…
The miracle that I wished for in that moment was that God would turn back time and undo that moment. But that did not happen. Yet I keep getting the question, “How can you be so happy?”
Just as happy as this couple. Yet we didn’t even experience our miracle. Or have we?
And what if we don’t see the real miracle because we pass it by?
What if miracles look very different from what we imagine them to be? The dictionary explains the word “miracle” like this: “Something that in its nature, by its degree of perfection, so far surpasses the usual, customary, that it excites great admiration, great astonishment.” (Duden)
“Perfect” immediately rings a bell. For Matthew 5:48 tells us who is truly perfect: “But you shall be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
And if we go back to the dictionary again, we see that even here it is clear that God – who is perfect – in his actions “surpasses what is customary, what is usual!”
Therefore, “Be careful not to pass by your miracles just because they look ‘different’.”
God did heal my acquaintance out of a wheelchair, nor did He restore his wife’s kidney. But, He did gift them both with such a great zest for life, strength, and love for each other that I have never seen in any other married couple! And on top of that, with such intelligence and great enthusiasm for technical things, which are very important to be able to operate such a dialysis machine! God has given them everything it takes to handle this situation very well. Isn’t THAT WONDERFUL?
God did not turn back the clock in my life either, thereby preventing me from having such a traumatic experience. But he took away the pain – completely – and he even let me forget(!) for years what had happened. Until I was ready to remember it without thinking about the wound, but to see the miracle. The miracle to pass on. Because today I can help many people who have experienced something similar. And I can only do that because I have experienced it. God has also given me everything to deal very well with what I have experienced. Isn’t THAT WONDERFUL?
Another WONDERFUL story that has been passed down for many, many years is the birth of Jesus, the birth of our Savior: “Today in the city where David was already born, the long-awaited Savior has come into the world for you. It is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
We are talking about the most MIRACULOUS event of all! God gave us a Savior! You can’t get more “miraculous” than that. But look how the verse continues, “And by this you will know Him: The babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lies in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)
But not quite so WONDER-full anymore. We would have rather imagined a 5-star hotel with an in-house medical team here. Apropos “imagined”. Joseph would have imagined this great miracle quite differently…
The plan was that he would marry Mary and they would have children. Now she tells him in tears that she is already pregnant! I wonder if Joseph checked Instagram first to see who Mary has been out with lately? How was he supposed to explain this to his family? Surely all of this could not be true.
But Joseph decided to trust God and so he decided to perform his miracle. The miracle that he could not see at that moment. “Where there was nothing to hope for, he did not give up hope, but believed.” (Romans 4:18 NGÜ)
And Mary? She must have felt very much the same way. To know that she had not slept with any man and yet was pregnant must have been a terrible shock. How many tense conversations, to put it mildly, must she have had with Joseph? How many people will have talked about her behind her back? That, too, must have hurt. That must have been a deep wound….
“In every wound there is a miracle.” She could not see the miracle at that moment. But she decided to trust God and so she decided to have her miracle.
And in this difficult situation, which certainly cost Mary and Joseph emotionally, in this turbulent time of many questions, doubts and uncertainties, in this time when the miracle looked rather like a great wound, an angel spoke to Mary: “Greetings, Mary, God is with you. He has chosen you among all women.” Mary wondered, frightened, what the strange words could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel continued, “God has chosen you to be special.” (Luke 1:28-30)
And in this very time, when also in your life – in all of our lives – things seem to be going wrong and the wound is perhaps more visible than the miracle, God wants to remind you that he can give you everything it takes to deal well with this time, with this situation.
Because he has also chosen you – not “in spite of” your situation, but precisely “through” your situation. The important thing is that, like Joseph and Mary, you put your trust in God and thus decide to do your miracle. Remember:
You only see what is not yet. But he already sees what will be.
So what is a miracle? What is your miracle?
The miracle is the hope of God in your hopelessness
the joy of God in your joylessness
the truth of God where lies have taken their place
the power to forgive, where your own power is not enough anymore
the perfect love of God where your heart has been broken.
The miracle is discovering the power of your own story,
in which a wound actually becomes a miracle.
Thank you for you
P.S. Daily encouraging short devotions are written by singer and book author Déborah Rosenkranz at www.einwunderfuerjedentag.de – just sign up for free and receive a daily early morning email of encouragement.