16 March, 2016

A Miracle

I’d always believed in miracles, but I thought of them as in the Bible stories – a man is raised from the dead, five loaves feed five thousand people, fire comes down from heaven, and so on. Sometimes I’d read mission stories of courageous people in faraway heathen countries, and miracles happened for them too. But the idea of miracles was a distant thing – something that happened a long time ago, or in a faraway country, or to other people. 

But, I’ve been noticing that miracles aren’t old-fashioned; they happen every day, and they even happen to me. Every breath, every new day, and all the circumstances that are so much more than coincidence; the way God has been planning my life, and orchestrating experiences – it is a miracle.

Like I mentioned, I finished school last year, and that left me in a ‘what’s next?’ stage. I stressed about, because society expected that I’d either go to uni, or get a job, and I did neither. I’ve got no problems with working or studying, but that just didn’t work out. I was praying about it all, and I wanted big bold answers. I wanted God to send me a letter or something, and tell me exactly what I should be doing. He didn’t. But, He arranged circumstances and opportunities in ways that were evident that He does have a plan. It’s different to what I thought, but it’s beautiful, and it’s more than I could’ve imagined. There’s God for you. 

Many years ago, I had that desire to be a missionary. I presumed that would, of course, mean going to Africa. But I remember praying about it, and distinctly receiving an impression from God: what about your own country? Ever since then, I’ve been convicted that my work is still missionary work, but it’s happening right here. Of course, I still fantasized about lonely outposts in the middle of nowhere, working with Aboriginal kids maybe – you know, real missionary style. But then, God brought it even closer to home: what about your own community, your closest town? 

That’s why when I started canvassing it was an answer to so many dreams, hopes, and prayers. It was God’s clear answer, His directing. It was a way that I could share with the people in my town, and it wasn’t complicated. I didn’t have to move to the desert, or give up other commitments. I could do it at my own pace (although, this isn’t always a good thing!), and it even paid a tiny bit. But, I needed someone to do it with; my family preferred I wasn't in town, on the street alone, and they had too many commitments to join me regularly. But God knew that, and already had an answer. A friend came to the area, and due to her circumstances, she had very few commitments: the answer to my difficulty. 

It sounds simple, but this has been one of the biggest miracles I’ve experienced. God worked out a way that I could live this year, do the things I needed to, and yet have the opportunity to work for Him as well. Everything I was stressed about has just been absorbed into this plan. I’m not going to say it’s all peaches and cream – I still have questions about long-term, there are days when it’s hard. But two things make it worth it: knowing that you’re in the place where God wants you, and experiencing the joy of being a blessing to someone else. Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’ And I can say from experience, living as though everything is a miracle is much more exciting. :)

And, I know God’s miracle working power is not exclusive! What miracles, even tiny ones, has God worked in your life and circumstances? What are your thoughts on being a missionary? What plans do you have for this year?  

P.s Even if this does sound like making decisions about my life was easy: it wasn't. There were times I wondered where God was. So, if you're going through a situation like that, wondering what you're meant to be doing, experiencing hard times, all I can say is hold on. He will reveal Himself to you, and in the end, that will be the greatest miracle. 

 P.p.s It's a step for me to share all this, but reading through Acts and also this post, has inspired and convinced me of the power of a simple testimony. I pray it was of help to someone, and if I may encourage you: I'd really like to hear yours next. :)