My husband and I celebrated Passover this year by spending four hours in a synagogue near our home. The four hour service was comprised of prayers and songs, over 80% of which were in Hebrew. We tried to follow along the best we could, reading the English version while Rabbi and the others spoke in a tongue foreign to us. In a room of elderly Jewish men and women, we were the only Black ones, the only ones not wearing kippahs, the only ones who looked confused.
None of that mattered though. We were just happy to be there. Just happy to be around people that honor the Passover, keep the traditions of the Bible and worship Yahweh. The Rabbi at this synagogue is one of my favorite people in my city. Over the years He has welcomed me with open arms and graciously taught me about the roots of my faith. At one point in the service Rabbi gave a short teaching. He read two poems and then we all discussed them. It was different than the Christian tradition of a Pastor preaching and the congregation listening. We all had an opportunity to share our thoughts and express our opinions. Rabbi even asked me to read a passage in English. I felt truly honored.
Rabbi spoke to us about the miracles of Passover. Most of us are familiar with the splitting of the Red Sea, the plagues being released and God setting the Israelites free from bondage. Rabbi elaborated on it, he dug deeper, helping us to ponder what it must have been like to be living those miracles as they happened.
He read from a poem called Miracles by Yehyda Amichai. This was my favorite excerpt:
"From a distance everything looks like a miracle but up close even a miracle doesn't appear so. Even someone who crossed the Red Sea when it split only saw the sweaty back of the one in front of him."
This poem is profound because it takes you right into the moment of the miracle. When we think of the Passover miracle we envision the massive sea parting, the glory of God coming to earth, the Egyptian army being overthrown. Yet in the midst of that we see one Hebrew man, walking through water, looking at the sweaty back of the man in front of him, wondering if the walls will crash upon him.
Even in the midst of a great miracle, we have the mundane. Even right smack in the middle of something supernatural we have ordinary moments. I've been pondering this reality since Passover. In many ways I'm currently living in a miracle. I'm living in the fruit of years of prayers and intercession. I spent the entire decade of my 20's single. I didn't have a single date for 10 long years. Like the Israelites crying out to God in bondage, I cried to God in my that time.
I enjoyed the season of being single. I traveled to countries, did missions work, made great friendships and have few regrets. However in my heart I had a real ache to be married. I believed a promise from God that He would bring me a husband and I clung to that. I petitioned God, I reminded him of the promise, I shed tears, I wrote in journals, I joined prayer calls. I did all that I knew to do, in order to keep hope alive. Then one day the promise came to pass and the prayer was answered.
Now I'm living in my miracle, like the Israelites as they crossed into their freedom. However as we know the Israelites new found freedom didn't satisfy their souls. They still murmured and complained at God, they still refused to trust him and they still worshipped idols. God had set them free from slavery, but in their hearts chains remained.
This is why God called them to remember. God is one who always remembers and He encourages His followers to do the same. He wanted them to look back, recall the miracles and teach them to their children, lest they forget and grow ungrateful. This is what God desires for us as well.
You may be walking in a miracle, all the while looking at the sweaty back in front of you. As a new wife, I will attest that the pile of dishes in my sink doesn't make me feel like I've entered the promise land. Even in the land of promise, work is to be done. In marriage I have to continually work on the attitude of my heart, work on loving my husband well, work on caring for our home. While their are moments of great joy and delight, their are moments of frustration, pain and disillusionment as well. Some days I feel victorious and other days I feel like a failure. This my friends, is life. It's full of beauty and hardship. Yet in all spite of all that comes my way, I am still daily living in the miracle. Not just the miracle of marriage, but the many miracles of life. I am alive today because God rescused me in more ways than I can recollect. For this I give him grateful praise.
You may be wanting God to do a miracle in your life right now. You may be waiting for an answered prayer or a desired breakthrough. This is my reminder to you today. Remember that you are living right now in a miracle. Perhaps it's the answered prayer you prayed years ago and now like a shiny new toy, it's lost it's appeal. You were once so excited to have a new car, a fun friendship, a fulfilling job, but now it's grown dull and you are waiting for someone else or something else to bring you pleasure. As you wait, remember that the miracle you are living in now deserves to be remembered and enjoyed. Remember that the greatest miracle of all is found in friendship with God, regardless of the perks.
Make the most of your ordinary and everyday moments. Even when it's hard, don't forgot to see the beauty. Realize that right now you are walking down a road that may lead to freedom. See the promise up ahead, the God who guides the way and the miracles in the mundane.