Daily Devotion - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known..." - Habakkuk 3:2

I grew up hearing the stories in the Bible where God does incredible things to rescue God's people--stories of miracles, signs and wonders.  I grew up listening to how the patriarchs and prophets heard the voice of God speaking to them out of bushes, dreams, on top of a mountain and in a still small voice.  

But as I grew up listening to these stories, I began to ask an important question about them that I am sure many of us have asked from time to time: "Why doesn't God do the same thing now?"  

Think about it.  Wouldn't it make sense for God just to throw out a flaming pillar of cloud and fire once in a while to just demonstrate to the masses that God is still there, still working, still leading and guiding God's people?  Wouldn't it make sense for God to speak to us in an audible voice just once in a blue moon to keep us in the game?  

The lectionary passage today from the prophet Habakkuk makes me feel a bit better about asking those questions. The prophet is having a "conversation" with God, and at one point wonders aloud why God seemed to reveal Godself in the past, but not so much in the present.   

The prophet exclaims, "Lord I have heard of your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds... Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known."  

I was watching this video the other day--a compilation of videos, to more precise that showed scene after scene of car accidents, falling trees, street signs and the like.  The interesting bit was that in every single scene someone almost died.  

In one, a car crashes into another car and both of them are sent careening into a sidewalk where a woman is walking.  They both barely miss her.  

In another, a soldier about to do a 21-gun salute sets his rifle butt down on the ground as he snaps to attention and the gun goes off, and the bullet removes his helmet, missing his head by fractions of an inch. 

As I sat watching those videos, I couldn't help but thinking of one word to describe them all: miraculous.  

That one word got me thinking about all of the many ways every day around the world there are miraculous moments--signs and wonders.  I think of all of the stories I've heard about people hearing a voice speak to them--maybe a word, or a sentence in an audible way, or maybe just as a strong impression in their very soul.  

And then, because of hearing that voice speaking to them their life changed, they discovered faith they never knew they had, and they stepped into life in new ways.  

When I hear those stories (I've got a few of my own to tell, to be honest), I can't help but think that the people relating them are telling the rest of us how they've heard the voice of God.  

I've started to become more and more aware of the fact that God has never stopped speaking, never stopped showing up in miraculous ways, never stopped giving us signs and wonders.  

God is at work all around us.  God is still performing miracles, healing the sick, protecting the weak, raising what was dead, offering incredible signs and wonders.  God is constantly speaking, whispering and even shouting at times trying to get us to listen.

The problem we have, however, is the same problem that the prophet Habakkuk revealed thousands of years ago:  The reason we struggle to see miracles and hear the voice of God is because we have both a vision problem and a hearing problem.  

Our eyes are transfixed on the sidewalk as we trudge along.  Our ears are filled with the white noise of our culture.   Maybe it's time we lifted our heads and unstopped our ears.  Maybe it's time to clear our vision and shut down all of the noise in our lives so we can finally hear.  

May you find new vision to see the miracles happening in the world around you.  May you gain new ears to hear the still-speaking voice of God.  May you be filled with new faith and new hope as you see the many signs and wonders of God's coming kingdom.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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