On the Other Side of a Miracle

Have you ever felt that your life was like a puzzle with one or more missing pieces?  Like if you could fill those voids, your life would be complete?  Perhaps you've thought, If only I had that job, then I'd be happy.  Or maybe, If only I were married, then my life would be perfect.  Or how about, If only I had more money, then I could be satisfied? We don't want much, just a miracle here or there, right?  And we've convinced ourselves that if God would just see fit to give us our miracle, we'd be completely happy and never need to ask for anything ever again.  But according to the Bible, it doesn't work that way.  Take a look:

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. - I Kings 19:1-4

It is obvious that Elijah was in a severe state of depression.  He was so distraught that he wanted to die.  He had had enough.  He was tired of running for his life.  He was tired of being alone (although he was never really alone).  He was ready to quit.  But the thing that's so astounding is the timing of his depression.  It was not at a time when he was in desperate straits.  Sure, Jezebel wanted to kill him, but that was nothing new.  Ahab had been trying to get a hold of Elijah for the past three years, but God prevented Elijah from being found.  Surely, God could/would have continued his protection of Elijah.  But these feelings of desperation and despair took place right on the heels of Elijah's "big miracle"--you know, the one where he called down fire from Heaven which burnt up the altar and everything on, under and around it.  The one that turned Israel back to God.

Elijah had just seen (and not for the first time) the power of God.  He had witnessed His protection over and over again.  He knew God's faithfulness and goodness.  He had been a recipient of God's provision on more than one occasion.  Elijah had every reason to be on Cloud Nine.  He had gotten, not one, but many miracles.  He asked, and God gave.  He should have been thrilled, but he wasn't.

Perhaps Elijah had the same mindset we do, that the missing miracle would be the piece that would complete the puzzle that was his life.  But when the miracle was over and he still felt incomplete, perhaps he realized that not only was he still missing a piece but he was also missing peace.  The miracle didn't fill the void.  The very thing he thought would make him happy didn't.  And so, Elijah found himself not only discouraged but also disappointed.

My friend, it is so easy in this life to want the things that we do not have, but we must be careful that we don't seek after those things in order to fill a void that only God can fill.  If He wants us to have "that miracle," then we will, but we must not allow our happiness and life's purpose to depend on it.  In other words, we shouldn't put as much weight on what God does for us as we do on who He is to us.  Miracles have their place, and while they will bring temporary joy, more of life's problems will quickly drain that joy away.  However, if we will keep our eyes on who God is--the one everlasting joy--then we will be content and happy with or without "that miracle."

There's nothing wrong with praying for a miracle, nor is there anything wrong with waiting for it.  The problem occurs when we place the miracle above the Miracle Worker.  Only God can fill those missing places in our lives and, in so doing, supply the missing peace in our hearts.  Seek Him today, not simply what He can do for you.  Then everything else will fall into place.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33