Are we looking at the wrong miracle?

bdrakecancer

Twenty-two years ago I received a miracle.

I was 31 years old and found a lump in my breast. The lump was cancer.

The cancer had spread.

At one point the news was so bad that Richard and I had to talk.

I can see us now. A young couple sitting on a sterile hospital bed. The young woman wrapped in gauze, a tube running from her side, her body forever changed by surgery.

A young husband with no words, other than to hold her tight as she said the words so hard to hear.

Honey, I want to be here with you and the kids. That’s my whole heart. That’s how I will fight. But if Jesus is taking me home, then He’s shown me the joy of being with Him. 

Our miracles began the next day and the next, and the month and years after that.

Big miracles. Tangible. Even my doctors said so, rubbing their heads and saying, “This isn’t normal, Suzie.”

Why me, when others go on to be with You?

That’s a question I planned to ask God one day.

Then as I was reading our passage for this study, it occurred to me that the fish were never the true miracle. 

It’s what people had their eyes on. It’s what we talk about when we quote this passage. It’s extraordinary. Things like that just don’t happen.

But if you notice, Simon Peter walked away and left the fish in the nets.

Why would you leave a miracle like that behind?  

It could have provided for Simon and his family. He could have created a shrine to the miracle and profited from it. At the very least, He could have prayed for others to catch a lot of fish, too.

This morning as I walked my three miles and prayed, suddenly I saw that this wasn’t just about Simon.

I saw my miracle in a whole new light and tears began to fall.

For the first time in 23 years, I realized that my true miracle was never about the healing. 

What, Suzie? 

Simon walked away from the fish to receive a greater miracle that took place in the deeper waters.

Jesus became Savior that day.

Simon and Jesus’ relationship led Simon Peter in a whole new direction.

The people waiting to be caught with a message of hope, rather than fish in a net, became the focus for Simon.  

My healing was a tremendous gift. I will never deny that.

But the true miracle took place as a young couple with three precious children trusted him, no matter the outcome.

The true miracle showed up in a girl who passed her five-year survivor mark and walked away from a secure job to write words about Jesus, because she didn’t want to waste her second chance, and somehow Jesus used that girl’s words to draw others to Himself.

And if Jesus had called me home?

There was a miracle waiting there, too.

Hear my heart. I am grateful for what I have been given, but walking into His arms as His beloved daughter will one day be a miracle of the greatest sort.

For knowing Jesus is ultimately the miracle that we find in the deeper waters.

Knowing who we are. Discovering who He is.

It’s not about the fish. It was never about the fish.

It’s about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s about what takes place in us as we walk with Him, no matter where that leads.

Suzie

Q: In today’s study, we are asked to shift our focus from the “fish” to the true miracle that takes place in deeper waters.

  • Where has your focus been?
  • What is the true miracle that Jesus is trying to give you?

Q: Read the following verses written by Peter in later years. Underline any words that reveal the true miracles offered to each of us. 

3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. (1 Peter 1:3-9 The Message)

 

Thank you to Rebecca Drake of bdrakephotography for permission and use of this beautiful photo.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Victoria says:

    It has taken me a couple days to digest all of this. My husband got the call from his doctor’s office saying, your biopsy results are abnormal. We will see the doctor 6/13 at 7am. We were not surprised but yet we were a bit numb. We had been so focused for months on his upcoming retirement. Talking, planning and wondering what he would feel like after leaving the same job for 30 years. Obviously this was not in our plans to be going to doctor appointments and possible treatment for cancer. Thank you Suzie for this timely post. Additionally at church we are starting a new study on the book of Proverbs. I love reading God’s word translated in The Message. Yes, I see the miracle, I see the future so differently by one phone call. I look at my husband and see this beautiful, loving and sensitive man. We have only been married 6 years. I have always felt this way but now I know that this is the moment we were brought together to share. We are being refined for one another and for the miracle of walking with Jesus. I have never felt more in awe of my Jesus!

  2. I only had time to read this today, Suzie, and it rings so true! God has taught me a great lesson about the fish not being the true miracle through our service in the Mid East. When I went there 12 years ago, I thought I was going to bring more fish into the kingdom. But it’s a spiritually dry climate, resistant to the Gospel, so if I focus ont he fish, which are FEW and FAR between, and often fall away, I lose my joy and get discouraged.

    I realize now that God sent me to the Mid East mainly to do a work IN me. What he does through me is secondary. No matter how small the fruit that comes from our ministry, I can find joy in my relationship with Jesus.

  3. This also puts me in mind of the last part of Mother Theresas Prayer
    “that,in the end it was never about you and them
    it was about you and God anyway.”
    That little twist turned my perspective upside down; and I saw everything so much clearer!

  4. I went through something that could have crushed me. Instead of remaining in the pit, I went to nursing school, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I often told people that school saved me. Actually, it was God who saved me. Looking back, there was SO MUCH provision. Every door opened for me. Maybe that was the miracle. I loved nursing, but am no longer practicing. I often miss it, and think I walked away from something wonderful. The disciples walked away from the only trade they knew, but walked toward something far more wonderful. I, on the other hand, don’t know what I should walk toward, or if I should return (to nursing). If Jesus was standing right there in front of me, that would make the decision for me. But in 2014, Jesus is not there in the flesh, in front of us. Please offer your wisdom on how we know where to begin the next journey. Am I still focusing on the wrong thing and forgetting about His provision and revealing Himself while I was in school? I need to meditate on this, but with wisdom because I always over-analyze things, leading to paralysis. I am ready to take a step.

  5. I had never thought of this – Peter walking away from the fish. leaving what he knew to follow Jesus. To trust Him. to allow Him to do His work in the deepest pain. I have been trying to allow Him to take my pain and give me courage to walk the path I didn’t ask for, didn’t prepare for, don’t want to go down, don’t understand BUT He has been faithful to teach me to walk one day at a time, to reach out and encourage and pray for ones I never would ventured to know on my own. and I remind myself He never said it would be easy to take up our cross – or leave the fish behind. He just said He would be there with us.
    Thank you, for today’s post!

    • My husband I were discussing this last night. The emphasis has always been the miracle of the fish when we’ve heard it taught, and yet if it were the true miracle why did they walk away and leave it? It was a tool in the hands of Jesus to draw Simon to Himself, and to reveal who He was. That’s the miracle! Such a revelation. The emphasis in this story is definitely not the fish, but walking away from the fish to follow Jesus!

  6. Powerful message! I have focused on the fish as well. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us to focus on the Miracle Worker rather than the miracle itself. He is all we need. I think of how Jesus didn’t want the focus to be on the miracles He performed, but rather on the Father. Praise God He still had work for you here on earth; you have touched many through His inspired Word. That photo is amazing too by the way!

    • I want to publicly thank Rebecca Drake, a photographer who has graciously allowed me to use her beautiful photos to reach women. She is amazing, isn’t she?

  7. This post brought tears to my eyes as I felt God speaking to me. Yes, I have been focused on the fish. It is far easier to emphasize what human wisdom says we should. The faith it takes to focus on the miracle of Jesus and our relationship with him is more of a challenge. May I believe in the miracle God will work through me as I follow his leading.

    • Father, thank you for Sandee. Today I stand with your beautiful and treasured daughter and ask for a renewed focus. Show her who she is to You. Walk with her as she leaves behind the “fish” to find the true miracle of direction, of relationship, of hope in You! In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

  8. Kim W., Our stories are almost identical. I too am separated from my husband, but due to abuse because of my continual asking of questions concerning his affairs. The abuse was emotional/verbal/and physical and I had to leave to be safe. I want my marriage, but do not yet feel safe. I have found that my relationship with Jesus is helping me with my healing….it’s almost as if HE has become my husband. My husband wont do what it takes to help me heal, so I have learned to rely on Jesus and am trying daily to trust Him, pray to Him, obey what I believe He is telling me, and just bask in HIs love. I know that somehow this ordeal is refining me, maturing me, making me stronger and better as a person. I don’t know what HE has in mind for my marriage yet, but I continue to trust and pray daily for that miracle. I have definitely felt like I am in those “deeper waters”. But with my newly emerging faith, I can make it through, whatever He has in store for my future with or without my husband. You are right…it’s not about the fish! It’s about HIM! Prayers, blessings, and joy to you!

    • Karen,
      I will keep you in my prayers as we both seek to follow Jesus and follow His will for our marriages and our lives. Just this morning I prayed “Lord, let me love my husband by seeing him as your child, but allow me to let him go in my thoughts and entrust him and my marriage to you.”

    • What a beautiful statement: It’s as if He has become my husband.” That’s so courageous and it’s a miracle to celebrate. Jesus has stepped in to fill a gap that a human being could not. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

  9. The words that jump off to me are that we have been given a brand new life and everything to live for! Not just that we will spend eternity in paradise healed and without sadness or sickness (so thankful) but that right now, this very minute on earth with all of our trials we are given joy and peace! That is a miracle:)
    Susie, so thankful for your Jesus inspired words !

  10. Thanks for this message today! Throughout my separation from my husband, I have looked to Jesus and prayed for reconciliation. As I got more impatient, I would ask if reconciliation was really what God wanted for my marriage.
    I know that God desires reconciliation for all broken relationships. What I have learned through this time of turmoil in my personal life is that it’s really about more than the relationship between my husband and me – it’s really about my relationship with Jesus. Trusting Him, obeying Him, communicating with Him, loving Him with my whole heart and knowing that He is using this trial for my good.
    So, you’re message resonates with me – it’s not about the fish and it never was!

    • Father, thank you for Kim. Thank you for taking her eyes off of anything but You. Everything good flourishes in that relationship with You. Lord, it’s not that we don’t pray for healing for the brokenness, but that we heal regardless of timing, of another person’s actions or lack thereof, and we find joy in the wilderness that sustains, and fills up, and flows over. That’s trusting when it doesn’t make sense and that’s finding You! What a woman of courage, and what an amazing God who loves her like crazy. Thank you Jesus for Your presence overflowing in her heart and life today. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

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