My hour-long commute to work not only gives me plenty of time to talk to the Lord, but plenty of time to behold the wonders of this world He created. As I drive along, I love to watch the dramatic sunrises each morning and sunsets each afternoon that He paints just for me.
A few days ago, as I drove south on I-75 through the rural pastures and forests, the mists that were rising from the ground among the trees and across the fields and the sun that was just cresting the tops of the trees melted into a soft, ethereal beauty that made my breath catch in my throat. Steven Curtis Chapman’s new song, “Miracle of the Moment” was playing on the radio at the time and I was singing along without actually thinking about the words. When the reality of the beauty I beheld in that moment collided with the words I was singing, my heart skipped a beat. “There’s a wonder in the here and now, it’s right here in front of you, and I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment.”*
The experience stayed with me all day long. I contemplated miracles -- the big ones and the not-so-big ones. I came to the realization that I’m always so busy looking for the dazzling flash of light followed by thunder-in-the-heavens kind of miracle that I miss the millions of mini-miracles happening all around me.
That evening, as I watched the movie “The Nativity,” I contemplated Mary. When the angel appeared to her and told her that she would bear the Messiah, she didn’t complain or whine, act out or make excuses. She accepted God’s call on her life, accepted all the pain, embarrassment, judgment and lifelong reputation that would accompany this pregnancy without complaint or comment. She didn’t tell God that the timing wasn’t right, or that she was busy doing something else right now, or that the whole situation made her uncomfortable. Ouch! Ashamedly, I wondered how many miracles I’ve passed up by not humbling myself before God when He asks me to do something. Where was my quiet obedience, my trusting attitude? He looks for willing hearts.
Mary’s call was unique; there is not another like hers. Although Mary’s was a spectacular, supernatural and dramatic call, the call on my life is just as much a call from God to serve His Kingdom as Mary’s call was. Whatever God has called each of us to do for Him is an, as yet, unwritten story. Depending on how we react to His request, the story could have a miraculous ending … or end in mid-sentence. In hindsight, I recognized that God had directed me to walk down a particular path and I had rebelled, citing all kinds of reasons why it just didn't work for me. I’ve then watched, with a sick feeling inside, as other women followed the same path that God had called me to: watched how God blessed them, their ministries, their families, and used them in a mighty way for His Kingdom purposes. That is the miracle I missed. I gave up my front row seat to watch that miracle unfold around me because I thought I knew more than God about what was right for my life. God reminded me, not so gently, that He doesn’t have to wait for me … He will accomplish His Work, and perform His miracles, through whomever is willing. If He doesn’t find a willing heart in me, then He will go elsewhere.
We are to wait upon the Lord, not the other way round. Oh, the miracles we miss when we do not wait on Him!
Scripture is replete with stories of those who chose to be obedient and whose faith was rewarded by landing right smack in the middle of a miracle. If the widow had not obeyed Elijah, she and her son would have died of hunger. If Naaman had not dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times, he would have been tormented with hideous leprosy to his grave. If the three Hebrew children had bowed to the Babylonian king, they wouldn’t have walked with the Son of God through the fiery furnace. If Daniel had not obeyed God and remained faithful, he may have met his end in the fierce jaws of a lion. If Noah hadn’t answered the call to build the ark, he, and the entire human race, would have perished.
The next time God calls, how will we answer? Will we turn a deaf ear? Will we try to negotiate our way out? Or will we be ready to get uncomfortable? Will we give the King of Kings the attention, respect and obedience that He alone deserves? When we give Him our complete attention, bow at His feet and unreservedly say “let it be to me according to Your Word,” we get to stand in His presence as He demonstrates His majesty and glory.
So the next time you hear that Still Small Voice, say "Yes, Lord" ... no matter what the request. Pull up a front row chair. Sit back and watch God at work. He doesn’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment.*
* Lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman