What if there is more to following Jesus than we ever realized?
Have you ever wondered if there was more than just attending church, reading your Bible, praying, attending Christian concerts, and putting a fish on the back of your car? Those things are great – but is there more?
In 1999, David Phillips, a.k.a. “The Pudding Guy,” discovered a magical mystery. The Healthy Choice brand was running a promotion inviting customers to mail in their UPC labels, and in return they would get free air miles. They then ran an additional campaign for one month that doubled those miles.
David, as one of these people who likes to dig a little deeper, discovered that there was something so much more. He bought 20,000 packages of pudding (that’s right… 20,000) because they all had individual UPC symbols. He also arranged a deal with the Salvation Army to remove all the UPC symbols and in return, he would donate all the pudding, which he was then able to write off on his taxes. All in all, David was rewarded with 1.2 million air miles from American Airlines, which allowed him and his family to fly free for life.
photo credit: Business Insider
Imagine how many people heard or saw this offer and thought: “Who would waste their time doing that?” Well, David did. And for the rest of his and his families lives, they can travel anywhere in the world for free – BECAUSE OF PUDDING!
So often we do the same thing as it relates to our relationship with God. We are content with normal when so often He’s inviting us into the miraculous.
What if the crazy things in life are actually the miraculous?
Recently, we were sitting with our good friends Emed and Marianne talking about Noah in Genesis 6. Emed said something that blew my mind. He said, “Noah was building this boat in the middle of the desert and all the people thought he was CRAZY, but what they didn’t realize is it was actually a miracle that was in their midst.”
This miracle was there to rescue them, but because they thought it was crazy, they literally “missed the boat,” and so do we. I couldn’t help but think of the disciples walking and talking with Jesus and missing that fact that He is the Son of God who’s come to save the world. They missed it SO MUCH that even after three and a half years of experiencing the miraculous firsthand, they still all denied him.
But wait – what about us? We wouldn’t have done that… right?
Well, we have the Spirit of God living in us. He is closer to us than our own heartbeat. Jesus said in John 14:12-14, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
As a result of the Holy Spirit coming, Jesus said we would do greater things than He did. WHAT? HOW?! Sometimes the things that might seem crazy just might be the opportunity to experience the miraculous. When we begin to trust the Spirit in us, He will lead us in ways that might seem crazy to others. Almost six years ago, our family was dealing with our son’s cancer diagnosis. In the middle of his treatment, my wife and I felt called to adopt a child from Phoenix. This felt all kinds of crazy, but God was actually positioning our family to experience the miraculous. We started the process of adopting our (at the time) 4-year-old daughter, Mika. We not only were able to rescue her, but God used her to rescue us.
But still, it’s not always just life-altering moments like this one, but mostly the day-to-day interactions and occurrences. The miraculous is all around us, but are we anticipating/expecting/awaiting it?
What if we prayed a simple prayer today: God, give me eyes to see the miraculous all around me. Amen.
Maybe then we might just be able to experience the “life and life to the full” that Jesus promised us.