Waiting For a Miracle

I talked this week to a young, homeless man, who explained that he was “not really into working,” and thought it might be time to move on. When I asked him where he would go, he said he didn’t know. When I asked him what would change if he went somewhere else, he replied,

“I don’t know. I guess I just expect some miracle to happen, and everything will be different.”

It reminded me of a popular song from a few years ago, “Waiting for my Real Life to Begin.”

In this song, a character fantasizes about how great things are going to be. . . someday. “Any minute now, my ship is coming in. . .” His heart refuses to accept the present as “real life,” since it is neither worthy of his dreams nor satisfying to his longings.

Why this push / pull between what is and what we long for, what we see and what we hope for, between what is and what ought to be?

God’s Word tells us that it is because we are living in a fallen world, a world imperfect and riddled with unmet expectations, unfulfilled longings, and unrealized dreams, a world of “un,” full of betrayals, even of ourselves.

This is the world Jesus entered two millennia ago. He neither tamed it nor changed it, but engaged and confronted it, for He knew that “un” is not the normal state of things for people made in God’s image. He came to restore that broken image, and He did that by laying aside His glory in order to grasp God’s promise of a new and better day. For us. That day is not the product of our own overactive imagination or supercharged ego, but the acceptance of “what is” as the gateway for a much better “what will be.” He willingly laid down His life, knowing that ahead was joy and redemption and resurrection, not just for Himself but for His people.

Jesus calls us to confront and engage our world in precisely the same way He did, by taking up our own cross and following Him. It is neither a denial of our pain nor the folly of wishful thinking. It is not keeping a stiff upper lip and pretending our longings aren’t real. It is working hard and living faithfully in the now in light of the resurrection.

It is not a New Year’s resolution. It is a New Life revolution. “Real life” has begun.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak
and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Acts 20:25

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