HEARD ABOUT ANY MIRACLES LATELY?

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

Psalm 121, verse 8; from the New Living Translation

Have you heard about any miracles lately? In this age of technological developments, many tend to think that miracles don’t happen anymore, if they ever really did. Well, sit right down and let me tell you a true story! Hunter is one of the grandsons of my very good friends, Greg and Pat. Greg is also my double-Brother; first my brother in Christ, and then my Fraternal Brother. Hunter is a great young man. Unlike so many of his generation, Hunter already has his career and is doing great in it.

Well, it was this past Saturday morning, Greg and Pat received a call that no parent or grandparent wanted to receive. Hunter had been in a serious wreck and was in the hospital emergency room. They didn’t know how bad he was injured. So they quickly left for the 45 minute drive. As they were driving they saw emergency vehicles ahead–as they slowed down it was then they saw Hunter’s truck. Honestly, it didn’t even look like a truck. So they started praying harder.

Here’s what happened. The best they can tell, the wreck happened around 3:30 a.m. He fell asleep, went into a ditch, and then proceeded to hit some trees. He was thrown through the windshield into a ditch. Oh, and this was one of those typical Alabama heavy fog mornings. No one could have seen his mangled truck. Hunter lied in that ditch for over 3 hours, best guess estimate, until 6:50 a.m. when someone arrived to open a country store heard him and called emergency personnel.

Doesn’t sound like much of a miracle thus far, does it? Well, let’s get back to this true story. After extensive x-rays and diagnostic testing, Hunter had NO internal injuries or broken bones. He did have a concussion, and lots of cuts and bruises–but before noon that day, Hunter was released and headed home. I don’t know about you–but I would have to classify Hunter’s story as a miracle. I have worked as a first responder and I have been at accident scenes where someone was thrown through the windshield and I can testify that was never a good thing.

See! Miracles still happen and they happen every day. I will close with what Greg had to said about that day. He says it much better than I can because he shared it out of his experience that day: “Praise the Lord! Hunter is going to be OK, a miracle from God. Bruised up. Cut up. No broken bones. He will be able to go home. Tell me we don’t serve a mighty God!” Indeed, Greg, we serve a mighty God!

LEAVING IT ALL BEHIND!

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

Ruth chapter 1 verses 16 and 17, from the New Living Translation

Have you ever thought about the story of Ruth when life throws at us the challenges that come, causing us to make difficult decisions? It’s a powerfully fitting story for us when changes happen. Job relocation. Changes in health. Death. Divorce. Changing schools. You name the explosion that happened–and Ruth has something we need to see, and to understand. Even for us United Methodists! Especially us United Methodists!

Do you think it was easy for Ruth to just pack up and leave with Naomi? Dear Lord, that was her mother-in-law! And we know how mothers-in-law can be, right? She left everything that was familiar (sound familiar you?) to go somewhere that was completely UNfamiliar! She had never been there before. Remember this happened in the days before the Wacky World Web where we can “Google” and learn all about a new place. And though she had never been there before, she knew WHO would be there! Naomi and God! And that would be enough for Ruth!

What about you? Facing some difficult, painful, and challenging choices? Maybe you don’t even have a choice–but change is happening quickly! 3 things you need to see and understand from this part of Ruth’s story. Remember, it’s only part of her story:

  1. Who is your Naomi? Who is it that you can count on to be bold and courageous? Who is it that shows you what it’s like to keep pushing on when, nay! Especially when life get extremely difficult? Who won’t give in to the fear of the unknown?
  2. Who are you being a Naomi to? Who is it that needs to see faith and courage from you? Not only do we need a Naomi, but we also need to BE a Naomi to someone who may never see it except through you.
  3. Are you willing to give up everything for a future unknown to you, but known to God? Just because we don’t know what lies ahead, doesn’t mean God doesn’t know. If you follow many of the stories in the Bible, you will find this same story–people following God into an unknown future.

Yes, changes, especially those great big ones, are on the frightening side. Ruth left behind family, friends, community, and her culture. Things that held value to her. But. . .I said BUT they were not more important to her than what God wanted from her. What are you holding onto at all costs? Let go of it and follow God! Who knows what will happen? I don’t think Ruth knew that the Messiah would be a part of her geneology–but He was!