In the last couple months I’ve told you all about the miracles I’m believing for this year, but this week God asked that those miracles not be just limited to me — He’s asking that I believe for the miracle it would be for some of the most hopelessly broken and difficult people I know to be transformed by the power of Jesus. (They need to be. )
But it all starts with loving them the way my daughter loves the sunrise.
Elated she bolts into my room every morning, barreling through the door and hurling herself into the my bathroom at dawn’s break.
“Mommy, come herrrrrrrreeee! Quick! You’re going to miss it!!!” my five-year old shouts out like clockwork.
And there I find her everyday, perched atop the bathtub as she watches another day be ushered in by the sunrise that paints the sky. Some days there’s more of a sunrise to celebrate than others, but every day she wakes up expectant of what God could do. She’ll do it again tomorrow, and the next day.
And it’s challenging me in all sorts of ways.
You see, I come from a long line of judgmental christians. We wouldn’t call ourselves that of course, we would tell you we value truth, justice, and repentance, all while steaming in our own self-righteousness and completely missing the heart of Jesus.
But in the last three years (shout out to my darkest days!) I’ve experienced the compassionate and unfailing love of Jesus for myself. I wouldn’t be breathing or still married if I hadn’t.
And now, God’s asking that I extend that same love to others…
There is a story in the Bible – really just one verse – that is rocking my world right now. The story begins when Jesus is walking down the street and comes upon a hopeless cause — a man who had been blind since birth. Interestingly, those closest to Jesus begin asking questions, casting judgment, and pointing fingers as to who was to blame for this man’s undoing. All while they themselves, completely miss the heart of Jesus. That’s often the case, isn’t it?
But Jesus put them in their place.
Jesus responded by saying, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame… Look instead for what God can do.“(John 9:3-5 MSG)
And then, shocker… God heals the hopelessly blind man they were bickering about. (God’s good like that, isn’t He?)
You see, a mere three years ago, my husband was addicted, I was mentally unstable, and we both were certain our marriage and ministry were over (And I wrote about it all it on this blog.) But looking back on it, do you know what I wish? I wish those who knew of my hopelessness, would have ‘looked instead for what God could do’ with my hopelessness…
I wish there would’ve been people who saw our impending divorce as more room for God’s deliverance, and I wish they would have spoken that over me on the days I could barely make it out of bed. I wish more people would have run to us in expectation of who God is and what He could do, and that fewer people would have run away because of who we were and why we didn’t deserve it.
Because, shocker… God would heal my husband, give my life new meaning, and infuse my marriage and our ministry with a passion and a purpose that today, is as profound as it is unstoppable. (Again, God’s good like that, isn’t He?)
If only we loved in expectation of God’s restoration in people’s lives…
The world needs more people who will look at brokenness the way my daughter looks at the sunrise: as an opportunity to watch the glory of God be painted across the darkest skies.
And everyday, that’s exactly what God is inviting us to do.
Every morning God is barging through our door, inviting us to get front row seats to watch Him breathe beauty into the darkest days of people’s lives with the same precision He uses to pen the morning skies. Some days there will be more to celebrate than others. But God isn’t asking that we love people in denial that the darkness exists, God’s asking that we love people in expectancy of the sun rising — of the sun rising on broken marriages, “unrepentant pastors”, and cold-hearted New Yorker’s, to name a few.
Truth is, everyone will watch the miracle unfold. Even the critics and the curious will be astonished at the ways God will work to transform the most unloveable and broken people.
…but like my daughter, the expectant will have the best vantage point.
The question is: will we be shocked by God’s miraculous healing in someone’s life, or will we be the ones that believed for it? Because I speak from experience when I say God won’t leave his children lying in the mud for long (Even when, *gasp* …they deserve it.)
“Come quick! You’re going to miss it,” God is calling out to us today, inviting us to leave our questions and our finger-pointing behind, and instead get expectant of what only He can do.
To be sure, some days there will be more to celebrate than others, but in the end God’s transformative power will leave us speechless and astonished…
The best sunrises and redemption stories always do.
// 52 weeks to write, 43 more to go. //