Better than a miracle


It seems that everywhere I've looked recently, I find stories of people who faced serious medical challenges that doctors did not expect them to survive, yet they did. It's perfectly logical to me to label situations like these as miracles, because I know that with God, all things are possible. I have no doubt in my mind that He heals people. And hearing of such situations brings joy and smiles and praise. For me, though, it also stings a little.

In my humanness, I saw a perfect set-up for a miracle last August. I found myself in a situation where a miracle would have been been the perfect ending to a long and bumpy road that began with a routine sonogram. I prayed fervently for that miracle, as did so many others. Yet, the miracle in my mind, the one that I so desperately longed for, was not what I got. That perfect ending turned into an ache in my heart like I have never known.

Still, God is God. He is the same now as He was when Kristen was born. He is the same as He was when she went in for her surgery. He is the same as He was when we had to say good-bye to her. He is the same, and He is good.

For years now, Emily, Grace and I have listened to "Adventures in Odyssey" on the internet during lunch. The girls have always loved the radio show, and we've all enjoyed the lessons learned in each episode. It's fun to imagine what each character might look like, and we've all voiced a wish that there really was a place like "Whit's End" right here in Great Bend. A couple of days ago, we listened to an episode about miracles.

A little girl remained unconscious in the hospital following exposure to carbon monoxide. Her brother was searching for proof of miracles and traveled in the imagination station to find answers. The very wise ice cream shop owner, John Avery Whitaker, told little Grady a couple of things that I needed to hear. First, sometimes we pray for someone to be healed, and God doesn't answer our prayers the way we hoped. In cases where our loved ones AREN'T healed, maybe God has in store for us "something better than a miracle." Second, after facing the death of a loved one and seemingly unanswered prayers, it can help you to pray differently. His thoughts are not my thoughts...His ways are not my ways. God's will has certainly become a more prevalent part of my own prayers.

Part of what makes hearing stories of people in dire situations so difficult is that they bring back my own memories of being in the hospital, feeling helpless to do anything to change the outcome. Another part, the part that really pinches my soul, is hearing all the praises to God when miracles do happen and wondering if those praises would still be there if God had something better than a miracle in store.

Distance will change the perspective, and I look forward to the day when I have enough distance to see what God has in store for me.


Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Kim...I love this post!!!!! This is something that I have often thought, especially in the early years of grief. Even now, in grieving my mother, people are healed of cancer and praise God for the miracle. I praise Him with them, but have always wondered the same thing. Would they see the miracle and praise the same God if He answered their prayers differently?

I remember, years ago, sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office when we were expecting our sweet Thomas (who we were told was incompatible with life and would die soon after if not before birth from Potter's Syndrome). On the cover of the magazine was the family who had septeplets. (Their name slips my mind right now.) All of the babies were thriving, despite the odds. The family was praising God for the answered prayers. And, I felt the sting as I rubbed my hand over my growing belly. It's easy to praise God in the "giving"...when the answer to prayers is everything you hoped and more...but it's another thing entirely to praise Him in the "taking away" say as Job did...The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...Blessed be the name of the Lord...

Would they praise Him then? I don't know...but we have the opportunity to praise Him, now. And I'm so glad you are taking it. And...I'm so glad for the truth revealed in that Adventures of Odyssey show. Your miracle isn't less...God didn't ignore your pleas. He gave you something better than a miracle. A complete healing for your sweet girl and a testimony of His love for you to share and reach out to offer His comfort to others.

That doesn't take away the pain, but there is a comfort in the truth that our God is still good...even when the answer isn't what we hoped. We are not forsaken, but dearly loved. Not experiencing less of a miracle...but very much given a precious gift. The gift of knowing that no matter what we face, He will be there to comfort and carry us through...that He is who He says He is despite our circumstances...that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Thanks so much for sharing this, sweet Kim! I love this post!

Love to you...

crystal theresa said...

it seems like i am comment stalking kelly, but this post was just so moving and powerful to me. i felt the same way about Calvin and praying, even willing God (how ridiculous does that sound?) to make a miracle out of my son's life, to make the amniotic bands that threatened him disappear, to give the opportunity to praise Him for His wonderful works. but you are right, God is still God - and He is still worthy of my praise. And like you, I look forward to my "better than a miracle."

Monica said...

Hi Kim, I just stopped from sufficient Grace Ministries. I have had the same thought several times when I hear stories about miraculous healings and wonder the same thing, what would their reaction be if the miracle they were hoping for didn't happen. I'm just starting to accept the path Gos has chosen for me to mold me into a mother of a baby in heaven. This is your first post I've read and plan to read more.

Holly said...

It is def easier to praise God when you get that 'miracle' than when it seems that you don't. But I like what this post says. God may have something even better in store! It may be hard to understand but some day, whether on earth or in Heaven, it will make sense.

Lori said...

I have often thought of this concept as well. Is it a "bigger miracle" for God to heal the hearts of rest of us while we wait to see our loved ones again (and anticipate that day) rather than answer our prayer for the physical healing of our loved one? How many more people would hear our story and praise because we believed in His promise of eternal life and the temporary nature of our separation.

Jennifer Ross said...

What a beautiful little girl. It breaks my heart to look at her picture, into her eyes, and know that you don't have her. Like you have written beautifully, sometimes, we have to travel the distance, in order to come closer to our answer.

Kristen is so precious.... I love her name too.

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