The Miracle We Don’t Really Want
Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. Acts 5:12
When I got into medical school, I was elated. I then had to figure out how to pay for it though. Already in debt from college, I didn’t have the resources to pay for graduate school. Then, I learned of a government program that would pay for my medical education in return for four years of service later. It seemed like a good idea.
Right before I signed though, a friend who was in the process of paying back his time, called and talked me out of it. He made the case that I was only thinking of the money and that I wasn’t truly counting the cost. He was right. I was only motivated by immediate reward. Blinded by the now-money, I couldn’t see the big picture.
I’ve done this with my addiction and faith as well. I’ve turned to God in my struggles, asking for the miracle. God, change me. Take away my appetite for drugs. I knew the passages like today’s, which tells of miracles and healings in the early church. In my own misery, I wanted the easy way out. I too, wanted the miracle. If they had it, why can’t I God?
I didn’t really want what the entire package though. Earlier in the passage, Luke recounts the profound effects of God’s spirit on his people. The wealthy sold their possessions and gave to those in need. I liked the parts about miraculous healing. I was not however, interested in the rest of the passage. I wasn’t about to sell my possessions and give to the poor. I claimed I wanted God’s work in my life, but I only wanted very specific, self-beneficial results. I wasn’t interested in the whole package.
We often do this. We go to God asking for help, but we don’t really want him to change our entire lives. We only want the magical fix to one problem, leaving the rest of our lives alone. Radical transformation though, touches our entire being. Living the new life means abandoning the old one. Often, when we see that big picture, we decide we’d rather just stick with the old life. We don’t really want miraculous change because it simply costs too much.
In this mindset, we’re still following ourselves, not God. The real miracle is when we begin to want what God wants. Then, and only then, will we embrace the radical transformation of a miraculous new life in Christ.