We long for change that is miraculous. Disability reversed. Relationships reunited. Stressors removed. Have you ever longed so badly for your circumstances to change that your body ached? We’ve all heard about stories that defy medical logic and are profound manifestations of God’s authority over creation. When we feel the entrapment of ongoing pain we may long for God to grant us the kind of miracle that will bring sweet relief and prove His realness to skeptics.
The Brokenness That Stays
But pain can linger – the diagnosis that leads to death, the mental illness that cycles with fury, unmet longings that remain unanswered while others enjoy their pleasure. Brokenness breaks in different ways – it can suddenly snap a heart in two or drip restless like a faucet and dampen joy gradually. It lurks around contented lives to threaten them and its shards can shoot reminders that pain remains when we’re trying to forget. Have you ever felt like it seems that nothing miraculous is on God’s agenda for you today?
But there’s a different-kind-of-miraculous that is ours to discover if we’re willing to lean fully into Jesus to find it. It’s not the miraculous that obliterates darkness – it’s the kind of miraculous that shines out in spite of it. Here, God’s glory is not revealed through a show-stopping event, but through the joy and faithfulness that still rise from those who remain broken. When physical miracles happen, we are stunned by the One who has the authority and power over all of creation to fix it. But when godly voices keep singing within un-cleared life wreckage, we are stunned by the One who holds broken pieces together and carries their hearts forward anyway. This power transcends trite platitudes of singing in the rain and gives divine resilience while being trapped within unyielding pain.
Both kinds of miracles awe and inspire us. We marvel when the deaf hear and the lame walk. But the different-kind-of miraculous knows that when human resilience exhausts, Jesus’ divine resilience is just getting started. It’s the kind that uses brokenness as a springboard for gratitude, and refuses the identity of the victimized. The kind that lifts hands in praises of blessing upon the very people who break them. The kind that’s trained by the Word and prayer and through unkind life circumstances that become opportunities to practice. The kind that fuels hope toward our eternal home where brokenness will, at last, be undone forever.
The Gospel Goes Deeper
We may be held within a brokenness pit but there is not only hope, but life at the abysmal bottom. The gospel goes beneath our deepest break and lifts us to our intended destination – the place where His glory is revealed not in the absence of darkness, but within it. It is here at the end of ourselves where Jesus crawls into the darkness with us and moves us forward with divine strength alone. It is here that believers are encouraged and unbelievers witness the truth of our discovery – that we’ve not only found the Author of miracles who can overcome sickness and events, we’ve found the Author of the different-kind-of-miraculous who overcomes our despair.
‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.’ 2 Corinthians 4:8-12