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October 6, 2016

The Miracle Map: Part 2

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

The most challenging principle of the Miracle Map is the third one: God works miracles in His time and in His way. This third principle in the Miracle Map really comes down to letting God be God. That’s challenging when you’re a control freak like me. We want a miracle on our terms, and we think we know how God should do it. But, more often than not, a miracle doesn’t happen in the way we expect it. Sometimes, God does His greatest work in the shadows, hidden behind a dark Providence. Providence is the divine dance with creation – You take His hand and follow His lead. Providence is God acting in the shadows, performing the miracle in His way and in His time. Providence leads us on the Miracle Map to the dark places where we can’t see God at work or feel His presence; yet, it is there where we grow the most as we learn to trust Him.

In 1774, hymn writer, William Cowper reportedly wrote his last hymn illustrating the mysterious ways of God in his own life. According to one source, “Cowper often struggled with depression and doubt. One night he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself. He called a cab and told the driver to take him to the Thames River. However, thick fog came down and prevented them from finding the river (another version of the story has the driver getting lost deliberately). After driving around lost for a while, the cabby finally stopped and let Cowper out. To Cowper’s surprise, he found himself on his own doorstep: God had sent the fog to keep him from killing himself. Even in our blackest moments, God watches over us.” (cyberhymnal.org)

Later, Cowper would write this song:
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

When you study the miracles of Jesus, you’ll discover that He never healed anyone the same way. There was no magical formula for miracles. He always worked miracles in His time and in His way. As you seek the miracle you need most, let God be God. Allow God to be as original in your own life as He is in others. Don’t try to put Him in a box. His ways are higher than your ways, and His thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Someone once told me, “When you can’t see God’s hand, you can trust His heart.” Today, you can trust His heart. As you pray for the miracle you need most, let God give you the miracle in His time and in His way.