When you think of miracles what sort of image comes to mind? A prayer answered? Impossibilities made possible? Do you see miracles everywhere…a sunset…an upset victory on the gridiron…a newborn child? Or is your first thought about miracles that your own life seems especially short of them?
I remember early in my ministry encountering a young couple who had experienced what it means to have their hunger satisfied by the Bread of Life in a way that was nothing short of what I would call miraculous. They seemed like ordinary folks...forgiven sinners like the rest of us who on any given day might have tracked more on the "saint" or "sinner" end of the spectrum. This young family was aching for a child and had been trying for a long time to conceive...the wife had tragically lost two children to miscarriage previously. But now her pregnancy was in its third trimester and the couple had allowed themselves to hope! As the day of her delivery drew near, however, and as their joy was about to realized, complications once again set in. The baby tragically died, not long after her birth, and the couple was forced to ask the question "Why?" It was such a privilege for me to walk alongside them through their grief, as their pastor. What was meaningful to all of us, their friends and fellow-church members, however, was how, in spite of all that had happened, their faith carried them through that dark valley. For a really long time all they could do was ask "why?" It was nothing short of a miracle to witness how they were given to trust in God's purposes for them again....nothing but miraculous as they received the grace to hold on to God's promises.
There is one miracle that truly matters: the miracle of believing in Jesus…a work of God (6:29) and the result of inner hunger satisfied by the Bread of Life (6:27). Though we are apt to seek God only in surprising moments of glory, the work of God that enables us to see Jesus is the one true Miracle supporting us in our times of need. And here's the really good news: in His mercy, God actually involves you and me in working His miracles in the lives of those around us. Feeding the hungry is not just an act of love carried out by our church's Care Pantry. It is a privilege we are given as we walk alongside one another and those God puts in our path, to share food that does not perish: the abiding mercy and unconditional love of the Lord of the cross and empty tomb.
What miracles do you see today? God is at work in us and around us. Let's give thanks today for the miracle of miracles: the miracle of faith, wrought by God and the result of hunger satisfied by Jesus! May we be used for the miracle to continue in the lives of those we meet, too.