The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. (Psalm 103:15-16)
The ringing in of a new year always causes me to step back and consider my own mortality. From the vantage point of being in my mid-sixties, I find myself wondering, “How many more ‘new years’ will I be around to celebrate?” It also reminds me that it is only what we do for God and people that will live beyond us. Every human being has this innate desire to leave a legacy. I remember first grasping this deep desire to find meaning for our lives in a psychology class during my undergraduate days at the University of Cincinnati, as we read Viktor E. Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. I have witnessed time and time again in my forty-five years as a pastor that the key to helping people connect into the life of the body of Christ is through finding life meaning, not attending more church meetings.
This drive for meaning is also at the core of why we love to experience God’s miracles. Miracles remind us that there is something more to this life than simply going to work, paying the bills and playing a little golf on Saturdays. Deep down inside we desire action, adventure or anything that pulls us out of what sometimes feels like the “rinse and repeat” humdrum of everyday life.
It’s also true, however, that many of us expect our miracles to be like magic. We sit back waiting for God as master magician to wave the wand and pull our highly coveted rabbit out of the tall silk hat. Yet God isn’t in the magic business, but the miracle business! And, we all have a responsible part to play in making miracles happen.
Scripture reveals that when God acts, it’s always through people. In fact, God’s miracles throughout both the Old and New Testaments reveal that miracles typically have two dimensions: divine intervention and human responsibility. That’s why the proud army commander Namaan had to wash himself in the humble Jordan River for his leprosy to be cured. It’s why five thousand households on a Galilean hillside were fed only after Jesus told his disciples, “You give them something to eat.”
To experience miracles, we also must realize that miracles aren’t for us; God releases miracles through us for God’s purposes in the lives of other people. Where is God calling you to heal, teach, preach, redeem and restore that which is broken, struggling or suffering in the world God loves in 2018? My new book, MADE FOR A MIRACLE: from your ordinary to God’s extraordinary, could be a helpful resource for uncovering and investing in your “miracle-making” partnership with God in the new year. In this book, we explore how each of us is made for a miracle, assess the “cost” of being a miracle maker, examine the miracles of love, learn to activate the power of faith and prayer in our lives, as well as discover what it means to activate health and healing within our own lives, in our communities and throughout the world beyond.
Happy New Year!
Mike Slaughter, pastor emeritus and global church ambassador for Ginghamsburg Church, served for nearly four decades as the lead pastor and chief dreamer of Ginghamsburg and the spiritual entrepreneur of ministry marketplace innovations. Mike is also the founder and chief strategist of Passionate Churches, LLC, which specializes in developing pastors, church staff and church lay leaders through coaching, training, consulting and facilitation services. Mike’s call to "afflict the comfortable" challenges Christians to wrestle with God and their God-destinies. Mike’s newest book is Made for a Miracle: from your ordinary to God’s extraordinary (Abingdon Press).