Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Other Side of the Miracle

Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him. Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!" And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly. And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. They were utterly astonished, saying, "He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."  - Mark 7:31-37

12 years ago I witnessed an event that has happened only three other times in my lifetime up to that point (and has only happened twice since). I was be able to watch the Chicago Cubs in a playoff series. Baseball, like life, has its winners and losers. It has its surprises. You can be as prepared as possible and still have to rely on something completely out of your control for results.

In 2003 the Chicago Cubs had to rely on the efforts of other teams to make the playoffs that year. Combined with the Brewers defeating the Houston Astros twice, the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates twice to earn a spot in the National League Playoffs. The Astros and the Pirates had to lose so that the Cubs could win.

You see, there’s the miracle and then there’s the other side of the miracle.

Christine was a normal college student but one day she was having trouble seeing. After her vision didn't clear, she went to the doctor. The doctor told her that there was something seriously wrong with her eyes and she would have to go home and see a specialist. The specialist told her that to save her eyesight she would have to have a lens transplant, but the lenses had to come from a person about the same age as her. Someone in their late teens or early twenties would have to die and donate their lenses so Christine would be able to see. Soon after that, there was a tragic car accident and a 16-year-old young man died. His family agreed to donate his lenses and today Christine is able to see. It was truly a miracle for Christine; nevertheless, the family of that 16-year-old young man was on the other side of the miracle.

What is it like to be on the other side of someone else's miracle? Is it a place you've been? How does it feel?

You have a God that knows exactly how it feels.

Jesus Christ was on the other side of the miracle that saved your soul. His death on the cross earned your salvation. You did nothing to earn it. There was nothing you could ever do to earn it. The salvation that Jesus earned on the cross comes to you by grace – pure and free. But it cost Jesus his very life. The author of life – through whom all living things (and all non-living things, for that matter) were made died so you could live forever.

I had a friend named Mark who died 13 years ago. He faced his own death from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Yet he was an instrument through whom God sent miracles to others. Others witnessed how he kept his faith, kept loving his Lord, kept serving his Savior. Through all that I’m sure their faith was strengthen even as Mark’s body weakened and eventually died.

I think that either you receive the miracle or you’re the person through whom God gives a miracle to someone else. Either way, God is at work and we are blessed.

The next time you see a miracle, remember the one who works it – our God and Savior who gives us life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

© 2015 True Men Ministries

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