It Can Come Out of Nowhere

God's miracle can come after decades of nothin'.“I haven’t given up hope, but…”

I was catching up with a friend. She and her daughter have seen a rough stretch. Death in the family, countless unanswered prayers. Though my battles were different, we reached the same conclusion: the last fifteen years had not gone as we’d hoped.

When you go that long with something wrong, your mind finds ways to deal with it. The most common is to assume that this is how things will always be. This is how God operates; this is his modus operandi for you. Every year offers hope. But it always ends with disappointment. The last go-around didn’t bring any breakthrough, you reason; why would this one?

“I haven’t given up hope, but…”.

We know in our hearts that we shouldn’t throw in the towel. Still, our hope features a “But”. We’re not sure we want to put our hearts out there. Not again. It might just be easier to Gethsemane this one and move on.

And yet…

“…a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5:25-29)

We read this story and go, “Wow, all she had to do was ask Jesus and he helped right away. One ask, one touch. If only.”

But that’s not the lesson at all.

Think about it – this woman went through twelve years of the hope-and-disappointment roller coaster. Every doctor she’d visited had promised a cure, along with fervent prayers that at last God would move on her behalf. Every time, the hope crashed. No explanation.

This woman, right up until the moment she touched Jesus’ cloak, was me and my friend. Years of desolation. Not only was she stricken, but the search for a cure had left her destitute – and ceremonially unclean on a daily basis. Trial spawning other trials. She was alone and shunned. Thousands of prayers fallen on seemingly deaf ears.

And then…one brush of Jesus’ robe and all was well.

After twelve years of heartache, none of which seemed to point to anything ever being right again…the rules changed in a touch. A new life in every way.

Because of her uncleanliness, she risked everything by entering a crowd. Had she considered that this prophet, this healer from the very God who had implemented the Mosaic law, might not appreciate being seized by an unclean woman?

Well, she went anyway. There was no “but” affixed to this woman’s hope. Only audacity could have pushed her through the disappointment and the crowd, an unbowed “maybe this time”, made stronger, not weaker, by the years.

The crippled woman from Luke 13 suffered at Satan’s hands for eighteen years. The man who washed in the Pool of Siloam had been blind from birth. Veterans of disappointment.

For the man at the Bethesda pool…thirty-eight years. In that society, thirty-eight years brought a man right to the twilight of one’s life expectancy. Yet there he was, beside the pool, when Jesus showed up. His years hadn’t keep him home.

I want that faith.

I cannot predict what God will do in your life. Gethsemane is indeed the end of some prayer roads.

But I can tell you what kind of hope Jesus wants in us: no “buts”. These stories of double-digit-year waits weren’t canonized by accident. Whatever breakthrough you’re praying for, it can come out of nowhere, unexpected, even on the heels of years of wearying, mystifying frustration. Indeed, I might even dare to say that it’s really more about the faith then the breakthrough.

I want my dear friends to see that, to jettison the “but” and look to each day with hope. It may be tiring; it may require courage to hope again.

But if this is how Jesus wants us to live…

37 thoughts on “It Can Come Out of Nowhere

  1. Beautiful Brandon! Life can be hard sometimes and it so easy to get stuck, to just accept that this is the way things are. God is a God of surprises and miracles however,and He can change everything in an instant, for the good!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This knocked me over. Seriously. I have a couple of very large “buts” that tie into trauma and some painful history. I have felt God trying to push up and beyond the “buts” with some resistance on my part. After almost a few decades, I have been guilty of going, “But….but….but.” Then, I remember that I spent 15 years of my adult life believing I would never have children. I turn 41 tomorrow and now have a 1 yo son and a 3 yo daughter. To me, that is a miracle – the touch of His robe curled up in my arms as I hold them close to me – the touch of His robe as I kiss their little toes. My daughter’s initials are HEM, which continues to remind my husband and I what happens when you catch the “hem of His garment”. Thank you for beautifully reminding us that we can continue to find strength in our tears and keep reaching out for the hem of His garment. One day, we will have more than the hem; we will have His arms wrapped around us as He welcomes us Home.

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  3. Pingback: The Wait is Worth It. – New Hope for Dry Bones

  4. You got me thinking that while I am waiting I hope I am not so consumed by the wait that I miss the everyday things that point to God listening to my prayers and loving me. I certainly am waiting and it’s been a long time and it may be a lot longer but I don’t want to waste the time in between. As you put it “Indeed, I might even dare to say that it’s really more about the faith then the breakthrough.” I want to grow in my faith regardless of the wait. Thanks Brandon

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! Thousands die without Christ daily and we think only of our dreams? God forbid it. Whole books have been written on living our lives and simply letting God attend to our dreams in his time.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is incredibly encouraging! Thank you for sharing this. This article will be in my mind and stirring my heart for some time because I believe this message is imperative to the Christian faith; to overlook this one aspect is to overlook a fundamental aspect of believing in Jesus: He is capable of ALL things, and He wants us to heal and to be unafraid to ask Him for what we need. No “buts”. That is huge. Thanks Brandon!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful post. I had a terrible experience when i was 46. Your post reminded me it took 12 years for me to deal with that. Healing takes time. The thing is there were lots of wonderful events in my life during the 12 years that I enjoyed and God was with me through it all. It is like Joyce Meyer says, we can enjoy the ride while we wait for our miracle.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you Brandon, this is very good. Especially encouraging is, “an unbowed “maybe this time”, made stronger, not weaker, by the years.” Too often I find my ‘maybe this time’ fading rather than strengthening. I needed this today.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow! And amen. My husband and I have been waiting 12 years in prayer with waxing and waning faith.

    Pour out faith on me Lord, take me to that next level of faith. I trust in Your goodness and rest in Your soverign love.

    Thank you, Amen

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “…it’s really more about the faith then the breakthrough.” Oh, man, that is just brilliant truth. “Don’t grow weary in doing good” (Gal. 6:9) and trusting God is certainly in that category. Which is courage indeed. Wow, this is so good brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “I haven’t given up hope, but…” Thanks for this. Needed this when I read it. I may or may not have fallen asleep crying after reading this. There is so much hope, but some days it’s easy to lose sight of it in the every day fight to overcome some pretty big obstacles that seem insurmountable.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brandon,
    I LOVE this post! As much as I love the others I spoke to you about, and will still share them at The Silver Lining http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic Facebook page, I’m actually thinking now that THIS one is the perfect fit for guest posting at angelaslittleattic.com! … Especially with our theme being on HEALING during the month of April. Contact me, or I’ll be in touch via message. Beautifully done! I love your heart for Jesus! 💙🙏🏼 You have a great gift with words! God bless you and your ministry, in Jesus’ name!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This, Brandon, is exactly what I need right now. I have Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve had it now for five years, and it has started to progress. I am getting weaker now, which means I have to walk so slow. This has happened so fast that it scares me. It is also beginning to affect my speech also, and I am a teacher. This article encourages my heart though! I shall, by faith, because of what you were inspired to write, hold on till my change comes!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you so much for your prayer. Today I sent a Prayer Request text to five people, and I called my brother and my son. I praise God for you being among those who are praying for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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