Type “AMEN” in the next 10 seconds…
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Story by Randy Grathen
It perplexes me how people react to Christian themed memes posted in places like Facebook. Some memes go straight to the heart, either to convict us or to console us. Some are thought provoking or heartwarming. Many are reminders of the special relationship we have with God. Others are reminders of how blessed and cherished we are by Him in little ways, day to day.
The ones that thoroughly provoke me though, are the ones that try to cajole, or coerce or shame me and others, into taking some action in the next 30 seconds or we’ll miss out on some kind of blessing. Or, we are challenged to pray this prayer right now and win a stuffed Teddy Bear. Amen? Or, God wants to send you money, or bless you, or prosper you, with something - fill in the blank ________ if you type "AMEN," give a thumbs up, and share it with 10 friends in the next 15 seconds.
The God I serve and am still learning to love more deeply, trust more deeply, understand more deeply, never gave me the impression that he was my Fairy Godmother or Genie in a Bottle. Rub the lamp, make a wish.
He is the Creator of the Universe and everything in it. Our position in relation to Him is that of one condemned to an eternity in Hell. But because of his loving kindness, and infinite forgiveness, He has granted us the privilege of being saved from hell and given us permission to call him, Abba – Father. How dare we reduce our relationship with Him to being nothing more than our “Butler-on-call?”
From what I’ve learned, blessings are usually a one-on-one affair. You’ve petitioned God about, or for, something, and in His timing and wisdom He may choose to grant your request. That is your heavenly father being gracious. Honoring your request.
Miracles on the other hand, are a corporate experience. Pastor Jerry O’Dell just wrote (unfortunately) a very short story about Michele beating stomach cancer and is now well on her way to being healthy and whole again. Miracles are a shared event. Michele had hundreds of people praying for her. Her family by birth and her entire extended church family, and listeners on her Spirit FM radio program were praying for her. The doctors, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff, intensive care unit team, care givers, all of them knew about her condition and the battle she was about to face. Many, including her surgeon are Christians and prayed for her too. At one point prior to Michele’s surgery the doctor told Jerry that he could “lose her on the operating table.” They were in awe at her year long journey through the valley, and the final analysis from the doctors after her surgery was finished was that it was nothing short of a miracle.
As many of you know Laurie and I went through a F-4 tornado and lived to tell about it. It was a miracle witnessed by hundreds of people. It affected many people who were involved in helping us put our life back together afterwards. I will be writing some of those stories in future posts.
One individual I spoke to shortly after the tornado told me that if we had had enough faith, we could have prayed that tornado away. I feel sorry for her. She did not, and will not ever know, all of the blessings that came out of the miracle of surviving that tornado. Our lives and the lives of others were radically changed by that event and the effects of some of those miracles linger to this day.
So, here are my ruminations about blessings and miracles, and the name it and claim it mentality.
Don’t ask me to rub the lamp, type amen, or try to guilt me into doing something that I feel is insulting to God. Praying for blessing is an intimate private request between you and your heavenly father for a favor. Don’t get me wrong, having others pray on behalf of your request is perfectly acceptable. But praying for a miracle is a corporate thing.
As of May 11th, 2022, Pastor Jerry’s story https://www.ourhighplaces.com/post/faith-over-fear had 38 views. That’s a record by the way for the most views in the least amount of time, yet no one left a single comment. I told Jerry that everybody on Facebook including myself has an opinion on just about everything under the sun. Puppy dogs & kitty cats and babies get oooohhhhs and aaaahhhs and smiley faces and comments all day long, but a bonified miracle like the ones shared here don't even rate a "thumbs up."
Puppy dogs, kitties and kids are cute. But God has raised people from the dead, healed cancer, restored missing limbs and given sight to the blind, and died on the cross for us. The list is endless. Shouldn’t we at least acknowledge His miracles with something more than crickets?
So now it’s my turn to cajole someone into action. This country needs some miracles. We'll document them here, but you've got to start praying.
For more stories from Our High Places, click here https://www.ourhighplaces.com/