I remember a time that I went through the gospels with the intention of noting every miracle that Jesus performed. It was quite an arduous task. With tools available on the internet, I probably could have just searched Google and found an appropriate answer to my question. I could have looked up commentaries or read other’s opinions but I wanted to do the search myself. At first, I found myself looking for the big miracles because, frankly, they were the easiest to spot. The miracle of turning water into wine, the miracle of healing Peter’s mother in law, the child raised from the dead, the lepers healed, the blind eyes opened. But as I continued to search, I began to realize there were far more miracles that Jesus accomplished that were often unnoticed even by those who were the recipients of the miracle.
Jesus displayed the miracle of wisdom when He was confronted by the rich young ruler. Even though the young man didn’t take Jesus advice, the words of Jesus were an invitation into life for him.
“As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” Mark 10:17-21 NASB
Did you catch it? Did you see the miracle that took place? Jesus felt a love for him. It’s a phrase that could be easily missed by those too busy to notice, but it’s there. The miracle of kindness displayed in wisdom.
There are many more miracles, great and small, scattered throughout the gospels. Some of them are noticeable, some of them take a little more investigation. Because of the nature of those types of miracles, they are often missed but they are miracles nonetheless.
Why are these events miracles? Because they are the demonstration of something that is not natural. If we believe that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control are all fruits of the spirit then when those things occur, we are encountering something that is inherently spiritual. If God is love, then acts of love must have their origin in the very nature of God himself. Can those acts be distorted? Absolutely. In much the same way that a child reproducing a Picasso would distort the image of the original painting in their attempt to copy the source, love can be distorted through immaturity. Anyone with a trained eye, however, would smile at the attempt to reproduce Picasso, however feeble, and encourage the child to keep trying, get trained, and continue to paint. Chastising the immaturity of the burgeoning artists will only hinder the opportunity for growth. Gentle instruction, redirection, and mastery of the discipline will eventually bring about a more faithful reproduction of the original.
So it is with us. The miracles of love and hope and kindness occur around us all the time, even if we do no see it. The question, then, is not whether or not miracles occur around us every day, but do we have the capacity to perceive them? Once we perceive them, do we have the courage to learn from them? Can we see through the weakness that is demonstrated because of the human instrument and discover the God who exists behind the miracle?
Most of us wander through our days and we do not realize how much we are missing. With the advent of portable computing, smartphones, and social media, we spend more and more time staring a screen and less and less time actually engaged in the moment. Our days are filled with information but they lack connection. Our relationships suffer, our lives are chaotic, our minds are overrun and our capacity is at a breaking point. There is so much noise and so much chaos that we don’t know how to even find the answers we are looking for anymore.
What if we could perceive the hand of God in each situation. Wouldn’t that change our day-to-day lives? What if we could actually hear His voice and be led by the leader within?