On a recent stroll through the aisles of a discount department store, I came across a large endcap displaying a product called “3 Minute Miracle.” I chuckled, admiring the ample supply of divine favor in shiny-golden tubes at never-before-seen prices.
Further reflection, however, brought an unexpected weightiness as I thought about the people in my life who really did need a miracle. Names and faces of those facing dire circumstances dropped into my mind like slides into an old projector carousel.
Walking past the display, hope was stirred as I considered the many stories in the New Testament where God swiftly transformed a life through a simple touch or a spoken word. My heart cried, “Yes, Lord,” as Habakkuk’s declaration flooded my mind. “Lord, I have heard the news about you; I am amazed at what you have done. Lord, do great things once again in our time; make those things happen again in our own days...” (3:2 NCV).
I thought this theological slam-dunk would erase the sense of heaviness in my heart, but it didn’t. As I meandered through the store, my mind began to drift to places in Scripture where adverbs of “instantly,” “immediately,” and “suddenly,” were not associated with miracles. In fact, sometimes it was the exact opposite.
I thought about the miraculously released Israelites in Exodus 14, particularly drawn to those who stood at the proverbial back of the line. Can you imagine seeing the Red Sea divide with two giant walls of water creating a pathway to freedom… and then realize you are the millionth person in line to cross through? For those last out of Egypt, this, indeed, was a miracle that took some time to unfold. Perhaps those who waited the longest for this unfolding miracle sang the loudest in chapter 15, knowing that this miracle was worth the wait.
Turning a corner, my mind raced to another generation of Israel in the 3rd and 4th chapters of Joshua, who miraculously crossed the Jordan River, at flood stage, no less. The priests, who were the first to go in and the last to come out, spent most of the time in the middle of this miracle. Far from monitoring the situation seated in strategically placed lifeguard stands, the priests actually stood on the dry ground, holding the Ark of the Covenant, as all of Israel passed by on foot. What an amazing physical, emotional, and spiritual display of enduring grace! Perhaps seeing eyes of both the young and the old filled with hope, expectation, and wonder was a moment by moment reminder that this miracle would, indeed, be worth the wait.
Heading toward check-out, I thought about the unfolding leadership miracle in David’s life culminating in the revelation we discover in 2 Samuel 5:12. The Lord reminded me that it took years from the time that he was anointed before “David knew that the Lord had established him as king.” The gift of this sweet assurance surely confirmed that this miracle was worth the wait.
You see, as much as we want miracles that are instant, immediate, and sudden, sometimes, God’s miracles are manifest in an unfolding revelatory process that is gradual, eventual, and entirely worth the wait.
Perhaps you stand in desperate need of physical healing, family reconciliation, financial restoration, or even organizational turn-around. Know this, while there may not be a “3 Minute Miracle” within reach, there is grace to wait expectantly, eagerly, and attentively as your miracle unfolds. Let go of disapointment that so easily accumulates in the absence of the "instant," "immediate," and "sudden." And with hands free and heart wide open, embrace the sweet assurance of His promise regarding your situation, “What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do” (Isaiah 46:11 NIV). It will be worth the wait.
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