Recently Barbara and I went to see the movie “Miracles From Heaven”. As a pastor I do my best to support faith-based movies even though they are at times working with very limited budgets. “Miracles from Heaven” was well made and had some very good actors and actresses. The story line was about a young girl who had a very rare disease that would not allow her body to process food properly. Her health was declining and there seemed to be no help for her. Through an accident that may have killed her, the neurological issue seemed to be solved. It was a miracle. As I watched that movie, I was reminded of several things that we often overlook in our own lives.
Thankful for Health
One of the first things I thought about as I sat in this movie is my health and the health of my family. We are very fortunate not to have had any life threatening illnesses. It doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. However, it is something that we often take for granted. Our children and grandchildren were all born healthy. We have the resources to have basic care and meet our basic medical needs. We have the ability to be active and eat healthy so we can maintain our health. Many others need our help and prayers and I am thankful that I am healthy enough to be able to do those things as well.
Our Faith Is Tested
I watched as this mother struggled with her own faith as she watched her child suffer. She was frustrated with the scorn of others and questions about her own life. She wondered how a God who is supposed to love us could allow her child to face such a difficult illness. She did not want to attend church and admitted to struggles praying and believing. The truth is many of us face those same struggles; moments when we question God or His role in our lives. Times when we wonder why He has not answered our prayer or solved our dilemma. Our faith does get tested over time. In the outcomes of life, our faith either strengthens or weakens depending on the long view that we take. Faith itself requires us to believe things we cannot see. By its very nature faith must be tested in order to be strengthened.
Trouble Makes Us Better or Bitter
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people use that phrase. I also must admit in looking back over my life and watching the lives of others that it is very true. Difficulties or trouble in people’s lives either makes them better or bitter. They are either thankful for the experience and the joy of the journey, or they are bitter about the difficulty. We usually respond with gratitude that people are in our lives and care for us or we become critical that others have not done enough. Everyone will face trouble, pain and heartache at some point. How we respond to those situations may affect us much longer than the problem or circumstance. We truly do have a choice of whether we will get better or bitter.
Medical Professionals Are A Blessing
Often we overlook the sacrifice and care given to us by those in the medical profession. Part of the reason we overlook them is because we view it as a vocation instead of a calling or gifting. As I watched Dr. Samuel Nurko portrayed in this movie I was reminded that men and women who serve in offices and hospitals around the world in the medical profession do so because of their love and care for others. The gifts they have been given by God, the talents they have honed and the education they have received provide value for millions of us so that we can experience a better quality of life. We should not overlook those that daily provide care for us medically. We are blessed to have those people in our lives.
All Trouble Is Not Bad
This young girl was very ill and it appeared there was nothing medically that could be done. She had an accident and fell 30 feet inside of a rotten tree. In most circumstances, she should have died or at the very least been severely injured. The family was distraught because it took hours to retrieve her and she was not responsive. Once she was examined at the hospital, she only had minor scrapes and bruises. By all accounts she hit her head exactly right to solve the medical issue that she had. Her fall was her healing. Sometimes we view trouble or hurt as only that, trouble and hurt. But many times those situations are providing things in our lives we could or would not get otherwise. Her accident turned into her miracle. There is something good that can and should come from every moment of pain and hurt. All trouble is not bad.
I Am Thankful For Miracles
Some things we can explain scientifically. Other things we cannot. I am thankful for the problems that science is able to resolve and the help they are able to provide to people. I am also thankful that there are times when no one can explain what happened. The miracles that take away our ability to take credit or bask in our own knowledge. The events that leave us speechless and searching to know and understand the source of these events. My faith allows me to trust and believe that God delights in those moments as we seek to know and understand Him better.
I don’t walk away from every movie or event with a list of things that impacted me, but I began to think about these things while this movie rolled a few days ago. We can learn something anywhere we are. Don’t overlook the fact that God is speaking to us every moment of our lives. We just need to be open to listening.