Monday, December 15, 2014

Miracle Monday: Week 3

I went into this week knowing it was going to be INSANE. I had the ACT Saturday morning, the Christmas musical at church all weekend, babysitting on Thursday and Tuesday…

You get the point.

Well, God certainly has a good sense of humor. Friday morning I woke up and felt HORRIBLE. Like stomach bug horrible. Let’s just say Friday wasn’t a pleasant day for anyone in the Bowers household. THANKFULLY we all caught it in 24 hours and it was gone by Saturday mid-day.

The ACT did not happen. We were only able to take part in one(some of us two) nights of the Christmas program. But here we are. And we made it. And please, Lord, don’t let that ever happen again.

Whew! Now, let’s talk about some miracles shall we?

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The baby in the basket. We’ve all heard about him. We all know that his mother made a basket and sent him downstream to hopefully save him from the murdering Pharaoh. We’ve heard about how his sister waited in the bushes to see what would happen.

But I think the miracle here is in his very mother…the one who sent her son up a river in a basket. Her month old son…just floating away from her grasp. I can’t imagine the pain!

Her trust in the Lord alone is a miracle.

She sent him down this enormous rive only to be found by who? Pharaoh’s daughter.

Talk about God’s hand being in a situation! The same Pharaoh who was killing all of the Jewish baby boys…his daughter had come down to bathe and Moses just happened to be right there.

You probably remember what happens next?

But since we’re talking about miracles…let’s list a few in this story.

1. Moses grew up in the household of Pharaoh, more than likely treated like one of his sons.
When Moses killed an Egyptian, he ran off into the wilderness…and there he met HIS WIFE! Ha. Crazy beautiful.
2. One day he was leading his sheep when he came upon a bush. Not just a bush…a burning bush. But…wait…hold on…it’s not really burning. I mean, yeah, it was on fire but it wasn't being burned away. The fire wasn’t turning it into shreds…this went against all science. I love it.
4. From that burning bush he received a message from the Lord that he was to go into Pharaoh’s court and tell him to let God’s people go. And what is God’s name to these people? I AM. I Am your God.
5. God’s people are passed over when the death angel comes to kill the firstborn of every Egyptian during the plagues.

Many plagues later and Moses and God’s people were making their way out of Egypt. The Pharaoh had said, “I’ve had enough of you people and your God- GET OUT!”

So gladly they left.

Then something happens. Pharaoh woke up.

He realized that with the Jewish people, he had lost every one of his slaves. How will he get his work done? He won’t.

Quickly Pharaoh changed his mind and they went after Moses and God’s people.

Just about this time our Jewish friends had reached the Red Sea and they needed to get across. And FAST. Because Pharaoh’s army was quickly approaching from behind.

How in the world would they get across?

{Follow me on this one…if you’ve ever read the children’s book I’m Going on a Bear Hunt, you know this phrase. We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it- we’ve got to go through it!}

This is what they’d have to do. They couldn't go over or under a huge sea. Somehow they'd have to go through it. But complaints and cries for help began to arise from these people, telling Moses, “How are we going to get our animals across with the Egyptians right at our heels? Did God just bring us out here to die?”

Can you imagine the thoughts going through Moses’ head? Seriously. Did you see all that God did to get you out of slavery? That’s not even the beginning of what He is going to do for you!

So Moses hit his staff on the ground…

And the water split.

Where there should have been water there was dry ground…just enough for God’s people to walk through. Were there were doubting hearts and minds…now stood wide eyed, open jawed and amazed people. Because they were God’s people.

We travel forward quite some time…to another story with fire.

This one is in the book of Daniel. It’s way past Exodus and while there are many more miracles in the pages between Exodus and Daniel we’re running out of Mondays before Christmas.

So in your mind turn with me and imagine three men. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. (The spell check on my computer is hating me for those names right now.)

These three men are noted as, “servants of the Most High God.”

They served the Lord and refused to bow down to the golden statue of their earthly ruler.

King Nebuchadnezzar didn’t like this very much and decided to throw them into the fiery furnace. These three servants of the Lord were bound together and thrown into the fire.

But here’s one of my favorite parts of this story, it’s what they say before they’re thrown into the fire.  “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

They said, “Our God is able!”

They also said, “But if not…”

But if He chooses not to deliver us, we will still serve Him. We will still trust Him because we are his people and He is our God.

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were bound and thrown in the fire. Just the three of them. A fire that hot would kill them, it would, at the very least, severely burn them.

Nebuchadnezzar looked in the fire and saw not three but FOUR men standing in the furnace. And none of them were burning.

And the fourth man, where did he come from? “The appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” He looked like an angel.

He had come to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Remember how Abraham was willing to sacrifice his one and only son because He feared and loved and trusted the Lord?

Just as God delivered Isaac, He delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Because He is their God, and they were His people.

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"All the little things that happened- they just happened to be little miracles. All that's happening around you every day is happening to make miracles. Eery little thing is going to be okay, because God is working good through every little thing. There is never a night, never a darkness when gifts and miracles and joy aren't coming- coming right to you." -Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

Matthew 2:1-6, "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.' When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

'"And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler

    who will shepherd my people Israel."'"

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I'm adding an extra little section here to tell you all about some serious miracles that have happened in my life this week.

Miracle 1:

When we were traveling to Rwanda to get Sonia back in 2009, we met another family who would be with us for those 16 days. They were the Spores and they were the kind of people you felt like you've known forever.

Well, the Spores adopted Cooper from Rwanda. Hannah and Caleb were adopted from Uganda and they are now in the process of adopting a young man with special needs from Uganda. I LOVE the heart of this family that so strongly beats for God's love and His heart for orphans. After they bring "S" home, they will have four biological children and four from Africa. THAT is beautiful.

Anyway. Chad and Heidi (mom and dad) are in Uganda right now waiting for their court date. They were told upon arriving that their judge had left country and couldn't hear their case until FEBRUARY. Seriously?

Well. We got to praying. And Saturday we found out that by God's miraculous hand, their case would be heard this coming week and they would return home in time for Christmas! Praise God!

Now, they'll still have to go back after the new year to finish everything up and bring home "S" but let's join together and continue to pray for the safe arrival of "S" back in the United States with his amazing family.

Miracle 2:

One of the young ladies in our youth group has faced something many of us won't face. Her father was diagnosed with lung cancer about three or four months ago. He went in for a check up this past Wednesday. He had been undergoing weeks and weeks of chemo and radiation and was scheduled to start another six day round this coming week.

BUT GOD! Oh this gives me chills.

His doctor came in and said, "Well, we won't be needing to do that chemo. Your cancer is gone."


Only God. Only our God of miracles.

We stood in my dad's office after church Wednesday with another family from church and we prayed aloud, thanking the Lord for this absolute miracle He had done in this man's life. He is the Healer and the Great Physician. How could we ever forget that?

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God didn’t let that bush burn. He had something He needed to tell Moses. God didn’t let those three men die in the fire. He had something else He needed to do through them.

He has something He needs to do through you, too. He needs to say something to you, too. And you can be sure He’ll work His miracles and He’ll bring you out of the fire to do incredible things in your life. Because you are one of God’s people.


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