Monday, November 10, 2014

The Miracle of Endurance

I spent the last Saturday and Sunday in October believing for a miracle for some dear friends. I knew God could do it, and I knew they believed He could do it. And not them alone--they had an entire body of believers believing with and for them.

The only question was would God do it?

If you asked me then, after I learned how that chapter of their story ended, I would have shook my head sadly and said no. God did not perform a miracle, and their hopes were dashed again to the astonishment and agony of all who believed. And after steeping my sorrow in a plethora of platitudes, I would have concluded that God decided a miracle was not in His divine will for this couple.

But the following morning during my quiet time with Him, I saw things from a different perspective.
When we pray for miracles, we usually mean supernatural changes even the strongest skeptics would deem divine: like a father's complete, sudden healing from cancer or a wayward spouse coming home to stay.

And God still does those things. My very existence is proof, as I was born to a woman who was told she couldn't bear children. God has also healed my vocal chords and delivered close friends from drug addiction.

But far more often, I believe God performs a different sort of miracle, the kind none of us would request but none could live without. The kind infinitely more powerful than the one we normally seek yet often overlooked for its lack of glamour.

Image courtesy of sritangphoto /
I refer to the miracle of endurance.

Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, and boy, was He right. Parents bury their children, spouses sign divorce papers, and families get terrifying news at doctor's appointments. Yet the world keeps spinning, and many people who suffer such things go on to lead lives of promise and passion, of selflessness and strength.

Is that not a miracle?

These aforementioned friends aren't hiding from the world and taking the rest of the year off to grieve...though who would blame them if they did? No, they are at work and church, going about their daily business while nursing a heartache I can hardly articulate. Though they often cry, they also laugh, smile, and dream about a better tomorrow.

Is that not a miracle?

What does it take to endure the excruciating? To exchange heartache for hope, to go on when you want to give in? What, other than the life-giving power of God himself, can enable us to survive (and in some cases thrive) after the ultimate undesirable has happened? Nothing. For only through Christ's strength can we do all things (Philippians 4:13), and of everything we will ever have to go, enduring life when the worst has happened is arguably the most difficult.

I know why we want God to erase the pain, and when I pray for miracles, this is still my first choice. But when I see how God's love, compassion, and tenderness manifest through my sorrows, when I revel in our deepened intimacy and renewed trust after he has carried me through the storm, I come to see that endurance has a beauty all its own.

And despite the tears, I remember to be grateful for it.

1 comment:

  1. Baby Girl, this is so insightful. It puts an entire new spin on the miracle I've been praying for. Continue to let God lead and use you. Luvu much - ReneeC