July 8, Sunday

Today’s AMI Devotional Quiet Time is provided by Jasmin Izumikawa. Jasmin, a member of the Church of Southland, is currently a high school teacher.

Devotional Thoughts for Today 

“Miracles in the Ordinary”

Luke 1:37

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

It was always very easy for me to drift into other thoughts or daydreams. The irritating part of this was that I could tune things out even in a room full of people or in the middle of a conversation. And while it may seem strange, embarrassing, and inconvenient, I have learned that it wasn’t that I was bored or did not care, but actually, it was in those moments that I was trying to make meaningful connections. It was much easier in my childhood to dream and to unabashedly wonder at inconspicuous details, but as an adult, I was ashamed of appearing “out of touch,” inattentive, or unrealistic.

I don’t think it was until I felt deep pain that I found solace in pausing from what was happening and seeing a different reality intermingled there. When worries about my cancer relapsing approach or when dark thoughts try to bury me, God draws me away from that place by opening another window from which I could see hope draw near and I could, again, be immensely grateful.

Friends, where is the place your heart is full and at rest? Is it in your prayer walk or the stirring hour in the word of God? Is it writing in your prayer journal or singing songs to the LORD? Go there and listen to what God speaks into life and motion. Miracles are near us, closer than you know. They are there to be seen, to be encountered, and to be invited. Jesus, when presented with five little loaves and two insignificant fish, gave thanks to the LORD. He looked on with eternal perspective, and could see the Kingdom of God even in a tiny mustard seed. Jesus also pulled Peter out of the water–a man who trembled like a leaf but would become solid as a rock! When we open our eyes to the miracles in the ordinary, we find the extraordinary and uncover immense joy and gratitude.

As spring turns to summer, I invite you to inspect a garden, whether it is your friend’s vegetable garden, a community garden, a church garden, or your own garden. Go there and pay close attention. You might wonder at the strength of cucumber tendrils and the harmony of companion plants, the heartbeat of a snail, and the dance of bees that celebrates each blossom. Inspect all that is alive before you and you will find that it is stunning! We are surrounded by an abundance of the extraordinary in the everyday things. That bee you see floating from bloom to bloom has traveled over two miles on its little wings, and its delicate buzz is actually powerful vibrations of wings beating at an incredible 230 times a second. What’s more, in order to produce that jar of honey in your pantry, it could easily mean that over two million blossoms were visited. Isn’t it wonderful? And this is just a bee!

Consider your own life and inspect the marvelous in what you thought was mundane before. G.K. Chesterton noted, “We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.” How incredibly full your own life is, full of astounding miracles and orchestrations of God’s hands. Your life is a miracle, your heartbeat is a miracle, your joy is a miracle. Let us spend our thoughts appreciating the remarkable details we easily overlook, for miracles are never too far from those who are grateful for even the littlest of things.

Prayer: LORD, thank You for the miracles You bring. I want to see them better throughout my day. Draw me close to You and direct my gaze to the open windows of everything possible in You. Open my eyes so that I may see You work and to be grateful for things I overlook. You are wonderful, God!  You have me awestruck by the things You do. I believe in Your miracles and yes, LORD, I believe in You! In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 47

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