by: Rich Vaughan
If you were asked what you considered the Lord’s most unusual miracle would you go back into the Old Testament and say it was Creation? Would you say it was the Flood and Noah’s Ark? The Exodus is a pretty powerful miracle and parting a sea is hard to beat! What about knocking down the walls of Jericho without a battering ram, but just marching around it and blowing trumpets? That is a pretty impressive miracle as well. How about the Christmas Story or turning water to wine? How about the healing miracles or walking on water? How about the Resurrection! That is a hard one to top!
For me, the “most unusual” of all the Lord’s miracles was turning 12 average every-day men into the driving force that would turn the world upside down. Talk about miracles! You have common fishermen, angry zealots, and a tax collector for heaven’s sake who taught by Jesus and empowered with the Holy Spirit, change their world! Do we understand that can still happen? Or, do we not think miracles still happen today? Sure they do. You might not get the opportunity to see a sea part or me walk on water, but the miracle of God using ordinary people for extraordinary things happens all around us. They are the Lord’s most fascinating and unusual miracles that I see, and in which I base my hope for the church and our nation. Susan Wright, my youth director here at Holland’s UMC, shared a story with me recently that I somehow had not heard before, but speaks to us of this very type of miracle:
In 1940 Dr. J. Edwin Orr took some students from Wheaton College for a brief visit to London, England. While there they visited the Epworth refectory where John Wesley was based. Beside the bed are two worn impressions in the carpet where it is said John Wesley knelt for hours in prayer for England’s social and spiritual revival. As the students were getting on the bus he noticed one was missing. Going back upstairs he found that student kneeling in the carpet holes made by John Wesley and his face on the bed, praying, “Oh Lord, do it again! Do it again!” Dr. Orr placed his hands on the student’s shoulder and said gently, “come on Billy, we must be going”. And rising, Billy Graham joined his classmates on the bus. Yes, THAT Billy Graham, who would become the world’s greatest evangelist. Who would win millions to Christ and be the spiritual advisor to many Presidents. To me, Billy Graham was one of the Lord’s “unusual miracles” in our lifetime. When are we finally going to realize that it often takes only one man or woman to stand in the gap and pray? So, are you ready to be the Lord’s unusual miracle today? I pray you are because our nation and the Lord’s church needs you. Amen & Amen.