Weakness, Impossibility, and Miracles

The skies were painted pink that night. Swirls and arches of color that filled the shadows with rainbows.

We sat in the dining room and ate grilled ham with pineapple, scooped up spoonfuls of broccoli salad, and laughed until our sides ached. When we left to drive home, long after the last shades of pink had disappeared from the sky, they had pressed the book into our hands.

She smiled, “What Ann Voskamp’s writing has done for me, Angus’ has done for my husband.”

The book was titled, A Farmer’s Yearwhich seemed a perfect name. This devotional was for more than just my husband though. Each morning as I made breakfast, he would read from the living room and the stories of faith and reminders of God’s power and majesty began sinking into me.

It was preparation time, though I wasn’t aware of it in the moment. God was taking the faith-stories of this South African farmer and laying the foundations for my own life-miracles into my bones. “Faith is like potatoes,” he was known for saying, “you plant the seeds, and the plant grows, but you don’t know what it will produce until the end.” The miracle happens underground, away from sight. It’s not until the harvest that you see the fruit, and you’ll never know what God has been doing until you push through the darkness, and through your trials.

Difficulty makes for a miracle, but the condition for a great miracle is impossibility. -Angus Buchan

I started seeing the verses in Scripture. Romans 4, where we are reminded of the miraculous that God did through Abraham. It would have been a miracle for the middle-aged Sarah to conceive, but it was a great miracle for the ninety-year-old to become the mother of a nation.

And we’re reminded that Abraham is now the father of all who believe in this miraculous God:

the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

Then in 1 Corinthians 1, where Paul is telling us that the things of this world are nothing compared to the things of God. What we see as foolishness and weakness, He will use to shame the world’s wisdom and the world’s strength. For–

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…

The words began settling then, years ago now, and the truth keeps sinking deeper.

This morning I went searching for these heart-verses. The ones that remind me of God’s miraculous power in the middle of my weakness. For through weakness, through the dead things in my life, through the impossibilities, the broken hope– it is through all of this that God is given a clear path to work.

And it is Him that I want. For this cross we carry, the harsh and scandalous cross, it carries pain, yes. And it carries suffering. And it carries death. But though it may be foolishness to this world, to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

For we know that His cross also carries life. 

Everlasting, miraculous, life. 

I Corinthians 1 and Romans 4

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