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As good as dead

and he as good as dead  Hebrews 11:12

We know God specializes in taking things that are totally impossible from a human perspective and turning them into something totally miraculous. We just don’t like to be the ones in totally impossible situations. A good percentage of our prayers, whether for finances, for health, for favor, or for grace, are prayed so that we can get out of an impossible situation. 

The fact is, unless we regularly get into totally impossible situations where we are in trouble, unless God shows up with a miracle, we may not be living a life of faith. Not all situations of faith come about in the same way:

  • Category A: “Help, God!” – these are unplanned, unpredictable I-need-a-miracle situations where life happens and we find ourselves beyond our capacities or resources. Our car gets rear-ended, and we need grace; our child gets ill unexpectedly, and we need a healing, a criticism comes out of left field, or the bottom falls out of the market. These are the “as life happens” category A scenarios. They can be small or serious; this is not about size, but more about circumstance, or perhaps Attacks.
  • Category B: There are situations where I need a miracle because of my own mismanagement of resources. I over-spend, I under-exercise, I under-plan, or I fail to ask God or others for counsel. I am not advocating that we live in this zone, but simply acknowledging that my own stupidity seems unbounded, and somehow I always need a few of these miracles along with the lessons that reduce my need for them next time. These, to me, are Category B (perhaps for I blew it) situations. “God, I blew it: I need a Category B miracle.”
  • Category C: There are others where we choose to end up needing miracles because we say “Yes” to the commandment to “Go and preach the kingdom of heaven.” These are predictable, I-need-a-miracle situations. We walk into the desert beyond the reach of our hosepipe; we go for longer than our water supply will last. We take a missions trip when we are still short of finances or don’t have a job, or we suggest to a work colleague that we will pray with them for something impossible. Now we have put God on the line. (Of course, it is important to see where God wants to be on the line, as Jesus advised in John 5:19, so that we see what God is hoping to do, we speak it out, and we pray in faith, and then we are on the line with God). These are situations where, every day, you ask God to invade today with eternity so that eternity might bear the treasures of what you did today. Category C comes from obeying a Commandment.
  • Category D: Then there are the longer-term faith scenarios where we are in trouble, so to speak, because we did exactly what God asked us to do. We left a country, we believed an angel, we quit a career, we started a new business… and we still don’t have all the answers. Abraham was in such a place. He believed God for what looked impossible because God said it would happen. To the outside eye, however, he was “as good as dead.” Category D… for dead. 

Let me suggest to you that we need a mix of faith challenges in our lives at any point in time. If we don’t need Category A miracles, we are probably in denial, or we are trying to handle the daily routine on our own. If I have no need for Category B (where I got myself into the mess), then I have probably have too much time on my hands because I am slicing everything into manageable chunks and I am consuming all my resources caring for myself. Without B miracles, life would be boring. This won’t happen if I get into Category C territory where I am asking God to show me the needs of others and at least offering to pray for them so that God can do extraordinary miracles. We also need Category D miracles where we are trusting God for something he said in a faint whisper many years, perhaps even many decades, ago.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

We can get a Category A miracle as a flash in the pan; Category B miracles can come from a divine Bail-out; Category C miracles can come when we are Confident beyond reason; but Category D miracles require a depth of walk that cause us to say ten years later, “I consider him faithful who made the promise.” One type of miracle is not better than another. We experience the ABC’s of miracles, however, as a sign that point us to the God who is faithful. Are you tired of waiting for the Category D miracles? Are you tired of looking for D’s in your alphabet soup? Add some C’s to your plate: step out and ask God to do something miraculous for someone else while you are waiting for what looks dead to produce a harvest. Plead for B’s, ask for A’s. These will sustain you as you wait for D’s, even when things look “as good as dead.”

Reflections

  • What are some areas where you need a miracle?
  • How would you categorize these using the A through D concept?

     
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