This weekend I sat in a service and heard a woman share her testimony. She celebrated one year of life AFTER brain surgery to remove a tumor. I witnessed a part of her early healing process. She could not do small things like bow her head down or blow her nose because it would reverse the surgery and cause major problems.
And the revelation of the missing miracle hit me.
While we petitioned God for His intervention in personal crises, He gave us front row seats to the trial of others and brought them through for all of us to come up in faith. But we missed the miracle of increased faith while we kept praying.
Consider Dorcas. She was a disciple in the new church, “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did” (Acts 9:36 NASB). She fell sick and died. Her body
was prepared and it was the time of her viewing in an upper room. The disciples called for Apostle Peter and when he arrived
…all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. (Acts 9:39 NASB)
Peter cleared the room, spoke two words, and Dorcas responded in life. She sat up. Then he gave her his hand and raised her up (not the focus here, but preach that to yourself!).
…and calling all the saints and widows, he presented her alive. It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. (Acts 9:41-42 NASB)
Yet, this section of Acts 9 (vv. 32-43) has headings like Peter’s Ministry (NASB) or Aenas and Dorcas (KJV, NIV) when the whole point was that many believed in the Lord.
So what, you ask?
Well, Peter did not call in heathens and unbelievers to present Dorcas alive. He called in saints and widows. He called in people who received the Lord’s love, care and grace. He called in believers who needed a shot in their faith.
While I stood and wept before this lady after service and shared this thought with her (minus the Dorcas story, that came to me later), I considered one more thing.
IT IS BOTH PRINCIPLE AND PRECEDENT THAT GOD ALLOW ONE TO PUBLICLY SUFFER, EVEN UNTO DEATH, SO THAT MANY OR ALL WILL BENEFIT FROM THE DEMONSTRATION OF GRACE THROUGH THAT ONE AND BELIEVE HIM.
The exhortation, then, Dear Ones, is to literally look and live. Look around you at the suffering within your reach. Gaze on the grace working through them, and be lifted in faith. Your belief may be used to raise them up. Or, your renewed faith may strengthen you to persevere a bit more.
Whatever the Lord’s purpose, do not miss the miracle that is your faith.
Selah, and love to all.