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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Who is God when he does not perform the miracle you seek?

This is an easier said then done message, for I wavered in posting it. But just as much as we like to talk about God's goodness, mercy, and grace there are other aspects that we need to take to heart for it is part of the package deal:

God is a God of miracles. We come to him with our prayers, as we should. We cry out in our darkness, and pray for light. We seek peace and comfort when things around us seem to be closing in. More times then not, God comes to our rescue. He is always there, he is walking beside each of us through our difficult times and many times he answers our prayers. But what if he doesn't?

A mother loses a child, a husband develops an illness, or like some missionaries find themselves in prison.

Jesus loved John the Baptist, from their first meeting while John was still in Elizabeth’s stomach he leaped for joy. John devoted his life serving Christ, and preparing a way for Christ’s dissension into this world. There should be NO DOUBT that Jesus loved John. But John found himself in prison; he was in a pit if you will. Do you ever wonder what John’s thoughts were during this time? I am speculating here, but if it were me I would be praying for my release. Praying to God because he is a God of miracles. Time passes, and John is still in prison. Finally John sends a disciple to ask Jesus “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else? (Matthew 11:2-6). Can you hear the depression and deep sighing from John? John is saying, “I’m still here in prison and I know you are a God of miracles, are you really the one who was to come?” Do you see the seeds of doubt in John? My goodness I think I would have acorns of doubt by then. Why is God not coming to rescue me?

Want to know Jesus’ response?

Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. Matt. 11:4-6

In Jesus’ response, he is telling John that yes he is who he says he is, but there will be no miracle for you. “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Interpretation, blessed is the one who still believes because of who I am, not because of what I do or don’t do.

How do you respond when God does not perform the miracle you are expecting or diligently praying for? Is not God still God even when he does not save us (or a loved one)? Yes we are confused and may not understand why this “thing” is happening to us, but Jesus says “do not fall away on account of me.” God is still God even when he does not act the way we would like him to.

Why was my child diagnosed with this disease?
Why am I having medical problems?
Why did the prayers for my marriage go unanswered?
Why did God not respond the way I thought he should?

Sweet sister, this is a lesson the Lord just brought before me and it pierced my heart. How does it affect my faith when things don’t go my way, what if this disease ends up killing my family memeber? What if my loved one dies after a long battle? What if that woman who wants to become pregnant is never able to conceive?

Oh sister, there is so much pain and sometimes the miracle may pass you by, but that does not change one bit of who God is.

God is who he says he is, the end.... period..... no matter what happens.

God does want us to come to him, to pray for hurting people, to bring others who are weak before the throne. But realize God is God no matter how he responds.

Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. Matt. 11:4-6

Note: the words in this article are all mine (well except the scripture), but the idea came from an article I read by Sue Warburton titled “Where’s My Miracle? The God I wanted wasn't the God I was getting.” I just took the idea of her article and wrote my own words about how it spoke to me. Sue’s article is found in Discipleship Journal.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for speaking about this. My brother, age 42, will die in a few months from Melanoma cancer... There is no miracle. But I am at peace. God knows what He is doing.... I can honestly say I trust Him with this situation. My brother has had a tough life. He is going home.

"God is still God even when he does not act the way we would like him to".... Amen... Laurel... Amen

Lynn Donovan

May 17, 2007 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know this is a timely post for me. I've asked myself where my miracle is countless times in the past week. Thank you for reminding me that we don't always get what we ask for but God is still who HE says he is. I needed to read this.


May 17, 2007 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

We were just speaking about this in my Bible study yesterday. It is hard because often we never know the answer for a lifetime and take that situation with us to heaven to ask God then.

May 17, 2007 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

When I read the post last night, my dad came to might. I think I wanted a miracle and didn't receive it. I was angry and walked away for years. I am just glad that He didn't give up on my and perused me in the desert. Today I know that God called my dad home when He did to avoid any more sufferings for my dad.
Would I be spiritually at where I am today? I don't know, but I highly doubt it.

Yes, God is God, no matter what our circumstances or sufferings. I just have to trust Him that He knows what is best for me.

Thank you Laurel for sharing from your heart.

Be blessed today and always.

May 17, 2007 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Barbara H. said...

I remember when the reality of Hebrews 11:36a hit me: "And others...." People before those words saw great miracles and deliverances; people in the verses to follow faced cruelty, destitution, affliction. Yet they are all in the "hall of faith" chapter: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."

God is honored by our faith, no matter what the circumstances. It is hard to change my focus from wanting an answer to a prayer or a miraculous healing and deliverance which I am sure will honor and glorify God to wanting to honor Him in faith no matter how He answers.

May 17, 2007 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

When I was first saved I, from somewhere not sure where, got the idea that if you weren't getting your miracle it was something you were or were not doing. But as I've grown in the Lord, I realize that God is God, He has a plan and I may not always be privy to the wholeness of that plan. I guess this is where trust and faith in God and His plans truly come in. God knows it all, I don't.

May 17, 2007 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger cajunquilter said...

all i can think to say is AMEN

May 17, 2007 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Amy Wallace said...

There have been so many times I've prayed for God's miracles and God was silent. My friend died after a three year battle with cancer, my parents divorced, my marriage crumbled into separation. Other times when I prayed lost things were found, my marriage was healed, God felt near.

In all accounts, whether I understood or still don't understand, God is still God. And He was there, holding me through it all.

Thank you for this beautiful reminder. Matthew 11:4-6 are verses I needed to hear and will spend more time with in the days to come.

May 17, 2007 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Hi Laurel. I've struggled with this question through the years. Interesting, God's been showing me the same thing and it had to do with John's question too. And Barb mentioned Hebrews 11. That's been huge for me. Not everyone got they're deliverance miracle, but they continued trusting God.

Fifteen years ago, my first husband died in a car accident. Our son was nine-months old. I clung to Jesus my Savior like never before, who else did I have to go to? Certainly family and friends helped and prayed, but in those night time hours when I was alone and crying on my bed, it was just me and God.

He's taught me that we may be lonely, but we're never really alone. When we know Jesus as our personal Savior, He promises to never leave us, fail us, or forsake us. He promises to lead us in the way we should go. (Deut. 31:8)

As for miracles, I'm learning that sometimes God's greatest miracles in our lives are miracles of perseverance. He promises to see us through, even in our pain, and I can testify firsthand, he has, he is, and he continues...

We're just traveling through this world. Our real home is in Heaven! Praise God!
In Jesus' love,
Susan Skitt

May 17, 2007 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Laurel, as always your heart for God comes through everything you write. First of all, thank you for being obedient to Him.

Secondly, I taught Bill Hybels' "Too Busy Not To Pray" for adult Sunday School 2 years ago. And, something he said in the chapter on the hurt of unanswered prayer has stuck with me:

Sometimes God says "no"
Sometimes God says "slow"
Sometimes God says "grow"
And, sometimes He says "GO"!

Three out of four times, we won't "get" exactly what we pray for. We are simply to seek Him and bring everything to Him and let Him figure out the rest!

May 17, 2007 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

"In Jesus’ response, he is telling John that yes he is who he says he is, but there will be no miracle for you. “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Interpretation, blessed is the one who still believes because of who I am, not because of what I do or don’t do."

Oh, that I would "believe" purely because of who He is and not because of what He has done to heal me, deliver me, comfort me, etc. etc.!

With tears in my eyes this brings me to my knees!!!

What a powerful post Laurel!
Thank you!

May 17, 2007 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

Laurel, you speak things that I need to hear. I honestly can't jump on the bandwagon at this moment. I know that you are right, but in my struggles I fight to see clearly sometimes. Like now. I want to scream out- It's just NOT FAIR. I've actually sat down to pray and said "Hey God. It's me- your biggest whiner". I have to believe He still loves me, still has a plan, and is waiting for me on the other side of my "free will" and "human-ness", if that makes sense.

I feel like I'm giving my Heavenly Father alot of gray hair right now.

May 17, 2007 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I have had to grapple with this one for a long time Laurel. When I did not get the miracle I was praying so desperately for, I confess I was so disappointed in God. I couldn't pray for months, but I had dear friends who prayed for me. I finally came face to face with a choice - I could trust God to be all He has said He is or I could just turn my back on it altogether. There really isn't any middle ground.
When I was able to finally say "I trust You Lord, I love You enough to leave all of this in Your hands", then came that peace that passes understanding.
This was so well written Laurel. It spoke directly to my heart.

May 17, 2007 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

'To realize He is God no matter He responds'....

That is the key to contentment...learning to trust God when our expectations do not match our realities....I hope I figure that one out one day! :))

I love this Laurel!!

May 17, 2007 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Oh Laurel, what timely words for me. From losing my granny to cancer last month to my seemingly endless struggle with wanting a child, I really needed to read this.

Thanks for being bold enough to share this. You're a blessing, as always.

May 18, 2007 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I remember praying for a house that I wanted once, "God, I will accept the answer, no, but please, please, I ask that my husband and I won't fight about this."

Sure enough, Michael and I had a big fight about it, and I was crying, and asking God why!!?? Turns out that it wasn't a "no" answer after all. I got the house, but God did things His way instead of mine.

We often forget that God says, "I will have mercy on whom I'll have mercy." Period. All this to say,

I concur! Thanks.

May 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Erna said...


I appreciated this post from your heart. So much of it spoke to me. Your point on "blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me," and your questions all stood out to me. For our Rachel, it will take a real miracle to make her body whole but her soul and spirit are whole. God is who He is. We don't always understand His ways, His timing, or His desires but we know that He is Faithful and True. I just look forward to the day where there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, and no more pain in Heaven. I look forward to the day when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes once and for all. I look forward to His coming and although He may or may not perform miracles in our circumstances I will remain steadfast, trusting in the One who gave His Son for me.

May 18, 2007 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a great reminder. This is a topic I have struggled with in the past couple of years more than at any time in my life. The Sovreignty of God is *hard* sometimes. But He keeps reminding me...that He is good, all the time, and He loves us more than we can ever begin to imagine...*not only* when we do have the incredible experience of a visible miracle, but also when suffering replaces the miracle we plead for. Thanks for this reminder today...

May 21, 2007 at 8:01 AM  
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