Signs, Power, and Wonder
"5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored." Mark 3:5
Have you encountered a miracle in your life? An unexplained event or outcome that defines logic and natural events in the world? I think many of us look at the world with skeptical eyes rather than a willingness to keep some mystery in it. A miracle can be defined by anything one doesn't understand. A rainbow was a miracle until we developed the understanding of prism's and spectrums of light. However, when we look at the workings of God, the New Testament gives us three dynamics in which we see miracles manifest; signs, power, and wonder.
I recall as a twelve year old watching the movie "Leap of Faith" with Steve Martin. It's a great little flick, but it's presentation of healing with those who are eager to accept the workings of God is procured by a cynical con artist in Steve Martin's character of a traveling evangelist. His world made sense as he used trickery and traps to exploit his revival audience of their pocket watches, cash, and faith. That all falls apart when he encounters a real miracle that brings him to a crisis of faith of his own.
I think his character is very much like many of us who are quick to reduce actions of piety and acknowledgement of answered prayers as hyperbole and wishful thinking. Yet, we all must come to the place where we either acknowledge that God can and will, or the opposite. In Mark we see the cynics push up against Jesus, and the recipient of the miracle only produced one action to receive his healing, faith and obedience. He responded to the promptings of Christ despite how the established holy men where chastising him and clearly opposing the work of God taking place on the Sabbath.
We see it here again, man dictating to God what he can and will do. God himself responds with the prerequisites for his work to manifest, for the power, wonder, and sign to take shape wasn't bound by tradition or preference. It was enabled by submission and action based on faith. To me, this provides a lot of trust in God working in the world and in my life. If we stand before God, no matter what infirmary or condition, we can put our trust that if he calls us to stretch out that less than perfect condition, open it up to him, reveal it for its condition because of the world outcomes or our choices, he has and can do something miraculous with it.
No matter who doubts you, scoffs at your condition, what bounds of selfishness or legalism they throw on you, reject them and fix your eyes on the power, the wonder, and the signs that God presents to you as reasons to walk towards Christ. Step willing to trust, obey, and place all your faith into the pierced hands of our precious Savior. In a moment or in the world to come, you will be restored.
Keep Looking Up!