Although not a history enthusiast, my interest spikes every time I hear or read an account of an event which occurred during the years preceding my birth in 1947. For instance, WWII ended just 2 short years before I came on the scene. The sale of penicillin originated in 1942, and countless lives were saved. The first legal commercial to air on TV came on July 1, 1941. It lasted 10 seconds, advertised a Bulova watch, and was broadcast right before a televised baseball game. All of these events which occurred only a short time before November 23, 1947, played very significant roles in the freedom, health, and enjoyment available to me and my generation. Of course, the list of other events with similar effects could be seemingly endless. It’s pretty incredible to stop and realize how I was born into such a world of incredible opportunities. And so were you!
We can study history from ancient times to recent events and develop an understanding of how things happened and how early events lead to later ones and on down the line. We were all preceded by some very bright and industrious people who worked long and hard to improve our lives. And, for that I am grateful. Still, few if any of those events qualify as miraculous.
Here’s what is miraculous. My birth and existence was not noticed by any more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the world’s population. After all, I was another little boy who loved to play outside in the dirt all day in the summertime and attend a local school the rest of the year. My childhood was incredibly enjoyable and filled with love by friends and family. Nevertheless, in the “big picture” I would not even amount to a single pixel on a single computer screen. Part of the miracle is that there was an event in history intended specifically for me. At the same time, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are intended for all people. And, having my own personal copy of God’s Word is a part of the miracle. Still, Bibles are available to millions of people. The incomparable miracle is that the Creator of the universe initiated a conversation with me, the pixel, when I was 9 years old. Suddenly, for me at least, I realized that somehow God was communicating directly with me and inviting me to trust Him with my life.
I knew that meant turning away from everything He said was bad and turning toward and following Him instead. I did not resist or delay. I said “yes” and experienced a Presence that was not there before and has been with me ever since.
I can only imagine how life would have been had the good guys lost WWII. Who knows what the length or quality of our lives would have been without antibiotics. And, even that tiny commercial has resulted in decades of fun, watching history-making sports events on TV.
But, I do know myself well enough to realize what a vastly different life this pixel would have experienced without the influence of God’s Presence. As different as daylight and dark.
Perhaps the most familiar verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It’s referenced in places like billboards, greeting cards and even signs at lots of sporting events. That’s a good thing, because it conveys the Gospel in just a few words. Now, here comes the miracle again. You and I can insert our personal name into that verse and it conveys the glorious truth that God chooses to notice and to sacrificially love you and me individually. Remember the pixel?
Go ahead. Insert your name like this: “For God so loved Steve Pearson (your name), that He gave his only Son so that when Steve Pearson (your name) believes in Him, Steve Pearson (your name) shall not perish, but Steve Pearson (your name) will have eternal life.”
Now THAT is a miraculous story. Don’t you agree?
Just make sure you understand the word “believe” in the middle of the verse. It’s not a flippant belief. And it is not part of a magical formula. It is the kind of trust that results in unreserved submission and obedience to God. That kind of belief in the God of the Bible opens the door to a miracle like no other.
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