I happened to cross paths with Kathy at Woman Camp last year, and I stopped to tell her how much this message meant to me. Actually, I'm pretty sure that all I managed to say was something about Slow Miracles and how it broke something in me in the best possible way, and then I completely choked up. But Kathy understood what I was trying to say, and we hugged, and I am so glad that I had that opportunity.
Some of the most meaningful change that can happen in your life comes from slow miracles fueled by persistent prayer.
This world is even more broken than you think it is.
Romans 8:22 – For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
When Adam and Eve chose not to trust God, the world got broken at a fundamental level.
God is more faithful than the world is broken.
Revelation 21:5 – He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Slow miracles increase my faith in both these things.
In the prime of their lives, Kathy's husband Pete was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “And boy, I learned how to pray... I prayed desperately, I prayed fervently, I prayed sincerely. Every way Jesus said to pray, I prayed. And not just me…” but their entire community at Crossroads and former coworkers and customers.
But Pete died in 2008. “And suddenly I am a widow, and it’s a really dark place.”
“And I told God how disappointed I was in him that he didn’t save Pete. I believed with my whole heart that he could save him, and that he would. And he didn’t.”
“God showed me the depth of his love—And he showed me that nothing, NOTHING can separate you from me. NOTHING. I can redeem the ugliest, hardest, the most broken situations, and turn them into something beautiful. And I, slowly, as I heal, become transformed. I change in a million ways. I mean a million ways. From this accomplished corporate exec, to who I am today. He leads me to meaningful work, here. I start beginning to think I might be able to see a future. And then, I start having fruit. I mean I see the transformation in me start to happen in the people that I serve with, and the people that I work with, and in my friends, and in the women that God’s led to me that I can build into. I start seeing amazing transformation. And then God shows me something. He shows me that, every time I see that transformation, when things happen in the physical world that are beautiful and good, they start first in the spiritual world. And he shows me the power of prayer, and how by praying, great things can happen. And he kind of gives me a little glimpse and he says, You know, all those years I was pursuing you and Pete. Well, you know, your grandmother had been praying for decades for you—she never gave up on you, which is amazing—and my mother and my sister and all the folks who believed in me were praying for me. And I thought, I want everyone in my world, everyone who’s in my sphere of influence to experience the same transformation I’ve experienced. And so I pray for each one of them, intently.”
"This world is even more broken than you think it is. Again, creation groans… There is brokenness in this world that runs very deep... One of the things that frustrates me is when people use Christian-y language to try to butter over difficult situations, and sometimes people use Bible verses in the wrong way. Here’s one that can easily be misused when people are struggling:
Romans 8:28 says 'And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.'"That verse is absolutely true. But let me tell you, that verse doesn’t say: If you follow Jesus no bad things are going to happen to you. And that’s how that verse is often used. No! It says all things work together for good. What that means is: All things happen to Christians. Good things and bad things happen to Christians. Why? Because this world is broken. And everybody’s impacted by the brokenness of this world. But what this also says is: If anything in this broken world is working out for good, it’s because there’s a loving God. Anything. ANYTIME death isn’t the outcome, ANYTIME there’s healing, ANYTIME the marriage gets restored, it only happens because there’s a God who is working in that situation. And, even the bad things, God doesn’t cause them, but he works them for the good of those who love him. That’s what that verse says. So here’s the thing: The world is more broken than you think. But that verse is a reminder that God is more faithful than the world is broken.
God doesn’t promise you better life circumstances, but he does promise you a better life.