I’ve only waited 30 years for an answer but as I prepared last week’s sermon I understood why I hadn’t walked on water all those years ago.
I had stood on the edge of the swimming pool during a school swimming lesson and had told God that I was going to walk on water. My reasoning was that everyone would then see a miracle and they would know that Jesus is real and then they would follow him (it had nothing to do with me not being very good at swimming!)
I stepped out in absolute faith but rather than the gentle lapping of water on my feet there was a loud splash as I sank to the bottom of the pool.
I don’t remember telling anyone about this at the time, but as a young and very enthusiastic christian I was confused about why God hadn’t respond to my faith and let me glorify him through this miracle.
On Sunday we were looking at the second temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness. The devil told Jesus to jump off the temple roof and that God would catch him, but Jesus ignores him and simply responded with ‘You shouldn’t test the Lord your God’.
One of the thoughts that occurred to me was that if Jesus had of jumped and God had caught him then it would have been an amazing miracle that would have caught people’s attention but then I realized:
Jesus didn’t have to perform miracles to draw people to God because he realized that he was the miracle!
Jesus performed many amazing miracles but he also taught at times with no miracles. He recognized that what people saw in him and what they heard him say should be enough and this is seen in his calling of his disciples. He says come and follow me, not let me convince you with some miracles.
I was shocked when I realized this:
God didn’t allow me to miraculously walk on water all those years ago because I was enough of a miracle already!
I had been saved by Jesus and his presence was alive in me! I remember returning the school after a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit and one of my friend’s asking me what had happened to me because I was completely different.
I look back at some of the things I did and the way that I behaved as a teenager and cringe as I realize that I didn’t even nearly glorify God in many areas of my life. Despite this I can still give thanks that God was and is still at work in me.
There was a worship song that was quite popular in the 90’s and it finished with the line:
The song was very popular but I remember many people feeling uncomfortable about that line because they realized that their lives were far from perfect.
I think that what the song writer was trying to say was
Realize that you are a miracle!
Jesus didn’t need to jump off the temple roof to prove God was real!
I don’t need to walk on water to prove that God is real!
The point is that if Jesus isn’t real in our lives in the everyday then a grand once in a lifetime miracle is pretty meaningless, however exciting it is.
If you are a disciple of Jesus, I would encourage you to take some time:
- To reflect on the truth that you are a miracle
- To give thanks for all that God has done and is doing in you and through you.
- To give thanks that God hasn’t finished with us yet.
It would be great to see more miraculous acts but if we don’t I give thanks that I and my many brothers and sisters in Christ are miracles that can glorify God, despite our imperfections.
This is a third in a series of Lent Reflections.