A Question of Love
This past weekend I attended a women's retreat at Meier Lake here in Wasilla. It was a wonderful two-day event, and I enjoyed it so much. Christy Price was with us from the lower '48, and she testified of an awesome miracle that had happened to her recently. But more about that later---
Even before our first session I had been thinking about miracles, and while we were waiting for our evening meal, I began asking other ladies what they thought about this question:
"Why does God do miracles?"
A list emerged as each one added their comments:
That He might get glory...
That He wants to prove Himself...
To answer our prayers...
To work His plan in the earth...
For His pleasure...
and many others--all of them correct. I jotted them down, for I knew the Holy Spirit was dealing with me about this subject. So when I got home, I went to my word processor and begin forming the outline for a future book or article I might want to write concerning this subject. As I had no place to start other than the Bible, I began reading the account of God's first miracle----the creation of the earth and man.
It was then that a light shined into my darkness...the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me an awesome thought.
In the book of Judges, Gideon had pondered a question a lot of us ask in our hearts when things are hard and we are going through trials:
“Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where
be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” (Judges 6:13).
As I re-read of the beginnings in Genesis, I saw in that first chapter of Genesis that God miraculously created everything not just because he could, or even for his own pleasure, but for a reason: because He wanted love! Love that was heart-felt, pure in its essence. And Adam, being made in His image (which is love) was also love as well. Only disobedience broke the relationship...but not the longing in God's heart and ours as well.
Who among us does not desire love? And why is that so?
Even when we might boldly deny our need for it, every adventure of life is but a trivial pursuit without it. The lack of it can drive us to despair, loneliness and a retreat to selfish self-pity and a cover-up with false bravado--for we have Adam's sin-nature.
But it was not that way in the beginning--- we were created in His image, and His image is love!
That is why he inhabits the praises of His people.
That is why the only way we can dwell in God is to dwell in love( in who He is).
That is also why the very first commandment concerns this love:
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Mt.22:36-38)
Love looks into every crevice of the human soul, searching to dispel darkness wherever it is. Love causes us to seek another's welfare, to help in every circumstance; to be a committed friend through every trial of life. God's love for us is so far beyond our comprehension and understanding--all we can do is to accept it. But have you ever noticed how often it is a one-way exchange? We are eager to have His love showering us with blessings from above, yet seldom do we return it in the same way. Like the lepers who all received healing from the Lord, and only two returned to thank and praise Him.
The Fear Factor
There is a relationship between love and the miraculous. Our thoughts of God are sometimes tainted with fear that He does not love us enough to help, or that we are somehow unworthy. Our love-relationship with God is only perfected when fear is no longer in the picture. Because fear is saying, "I doubt you; I cannot fully trust you." God knew that you and I would have a problem with that:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear because fear
hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind..who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began..." (2 Timothy 7,9)
We can have fear-thoughts, even when we quote scriptures and believe them. Yes, even so-called "great preachers." We all do. All of us. The battle to overcome them is wrapped up in this subject of love--for perfect love will cast out fear. It is when we truly accept our freedom from condemnation--not because of our own self-righteousness, but because of what Jesus did on the Cross to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, then all we need do is to cast down those imaginations and fears that Satan would place in our minds and hearts and simply spend time in a love-feast with God.
"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."
1 John 3:21
Fear is a bondage. Even the faith-question that haunts us can become a fearful bondage as we struggle through sickness and trials. Do I have enough faith? Do I measure up? Will God cast me aside as not having passed the test? Will he do a miracle of deliverance for me?
I love you, Lord Jesus
Back to Christy: Diagnosed with lymphoma, confirmed to have a large tumor in her abdomen, Christy told of that special time during her trial when she simply decided to spend time with Jesus, alone--not to offer another prayer of desperation, or a pleading for her life--- but just to tell Him how much she loved Him. And so she did. One morning, tears flowed as she embraced His presence. Not tears of desperation, but of unspeakable heartfelt love and joy that began to bubble forth within her... a love-feast of time with Him.
How I can recall those special moments I too have enjoyed doing just that--a one-on-one with Him; His love for me and my love for Him combining together into Perfect Love...
Perhaps we need to find out for ourselves. For in the days that followed, Christy was scheduled for surgery to remove that tumor. When the doctors opened her up---the tumor was not there! This amazing story did not end there; a subsequent meeting of several cancer doctors were shown the actual pictures of the tumor, the diagnosis and tests results were presented; and all that could be said by her surgeon was this: "I have no other explanation but that this woman knew her God."
"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will
set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me,
and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and
honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
(Psalm 91: 13-16)
"But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered
into the heart of man, the things God hath prepared for them that love him.
(1 Co 2:9)
Is this the secret of miracles? Of your miracle? Of mine? I am convinced it is.
MARY E. ADAMS