And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. - John 21:25
I love books! I just can't help myself. Old books, new books. It doesn't matter. I love to read, and I'm thrilled to surround myself with good books. Want to see Dana happy? Give her a book or let her wander around a bookstore or library. Yes, if I had my way (and, of course, the funds), my personal library would be extensive. I'd have walls full of bookshelves, each covered with books of inspiration, action and adventure, romance, fantasy and vital information. My dream home has its own private library with floor to ceiling bookcases. Ah, just thinking about it makes me drool.
But according to John, even the Library of Congress couldn't house all the books of miracles and acts of Jesus. The entire world is insufficient to hold the volumes. Wouldn't you love to know what those miracles were? Perhaps you could find your own story within those omitted miracles. A story that is not present elsewhere in the Bible.
I find no tale of the dedicated writer who suffers from shoulder bursitis.
There is no mention of the hard-working man who is forced to forsake his passions and talents in order to work a dead-end job that barely pays the bills.
Where is the woman who is barren for life, never receiving the child for which she so longs?
And how about the quadruple amputee? Where is his story?
Could these tales and more be part of those volumes that John never penned? Is it possible one of the other miracles is your story -- the one to which you could cling for hope and reassurance? What do we do with the specific circumstances in our lives that the Bible doesn't seem to address? Can we still find peace and comfort within its pages? Does it still have the answers we need?
In a word, yes. While each specific situation is not detailed within God's Word, the principles and promises contained therein are the same and are still applicable. For the dedicated writer, she can find solace in the story of Paul's thorn and God's promise that His grace would be sufficient in spite of the suffering. For the hard-working man, he can rest in the promise that all things work together for good and that God has a specific plan for his life that will be revealed at the proper time. The barren woman can find strength in Paul's proclamation that he would be content no matter what. And as for the quadruple amputee, his comfort can be found in the book of Jeremiah where God declares:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
"But what if I want more?" you ask. "What if I need more than generic verses? What if I long for answers to my specific questions?"
I can't answer that, but I can tell you that God left out those "other miracles" for a reason. It wasn't a mistake. They weren't overlooked or forgotten. It was part of His great plan. Maybe because God knew it was easier for us to accept things when we could see the plan and trace the pattern. But that's not really faith, now is it? We can't exercise faith if we understand the outcome. Could it be that the omission of these other stories was for our good? Through their absence, God has given us room to grow in our faith, to learn to accept things whether we understand them or not. He has given us the opportunity to trust Him all the more.
We don't need to see the blueprints. We don't need to know the outcome. We don't need a Biblical account that matches our own lives and circumstances. What we need is God's grace.
And that, my friend, is what He freely offers day after day.
Stop looking for the answers and just trust God. He knows what He's doing. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He is familiar with your story, and He's already written the outcome. Trust in His Word, His power and His plan. He has everything under control.