John 10:30-42 Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” …The people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus replied, “Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. … The Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them… And many who were there believed in Jesus.
Easter season is all about miracles. In just a few days, we’ll celebrate the greatest miracle of all time: Jesus died, but now he’s alive! Some miracles are big and splashy and attract lots of attention. Others are so personal perhaps no one else even knows about them, but they create a warm glow of gratefulness in your heart every time you think about what God did for you.
Monday night a gal from Venezuela raised the question, “How can we experience the Holy Spirit’s presence with us when we’re going through truly awful, no good, terribly scary times?” I found myself talking about how important Lamentations 3:22-24 became for me during my tough times with Karis. My world had narrowed down to surviving each hour. Jeremiah told me every day, The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies begin afresh each morning.
You know what miracle God did for me personally during the most awful of the awful years? I was hardly eating or sleeping. Karis took two steps forward and three steps back, again and again. My stress level was off the charts. Yet I was not sick a single day that year! There was not a single day I was unable to show up and do what I needed to do for my daughter.
I am in awe of John as a writer. Consider chapter 10. The first half, set between the dramatic healing of the blind man in chapter 9 and Jesus’ discussion about miracles (in between having his life threatened), tells us about Jesus being our Shepherd. Sometimes his care takes the form of a big, splashy miracle. Sometimes the miracle blooms in knowing he’s with us, walking through whatever it is with us. Not leaving us stuck, alone. That’s a miracle with staying power.
Karis always believed she would not live one minute longer or shorter than her Shepherd planned for her, but she still had to do her part to stay as well as she could be. Jesus too, in this chapter, knew it wasn’t yet his time to die, so he dodged the bullets—oops, I mean stones. Sometimes he stayed around to chat, but sometimes he got out of there. At all times he was in control. At all times he was in tune with his Father who loved him (v. 17).
Have you experienced a miracle you would like to share? I invite you to write it down and send it to me by email—no longer than one page. Your experience can encourage others who need a concrete reminder that God is still in the miracle-working business. I’ll watch for your story!
Here’s one of my favorite versions of Jesus as my shepherd.