On my final morning in Israel, I climb out of bed in darkness and make my way to the docks as the sun rises over the hillside. The birds, with their high shrills and steady chirps, form a choir in a nearby tree. Seagulls circle the harbor and pause mid-flight to make the occasional dive. A dog’s bark echoes in the distance.
I realize that I had to uncurl my fingers from the trip I envisioned to make space for the adventure God had preplanned all along. I don’t like being out of control—who does, really?—yet accepting our powerlessness is a sacred discipline.
When I relinquished, God flooded in and made himself known. I suspect he wants to do that a lot more than I allow. He longs to display his power and might in our lives, but he won’t kick us off the throne if we’re committed to wearing the crown of control.
The Sea of Galilee exudes a calmness that stills my soul. My eyes wander along the emerald coast. This is more than a spot where water meets land: it’s where heaven intersected earth; where Jesus displayed the power of God to mere mortals.
To the north, Jesus once fed five thousand with five bricks of barley and a pair of sardines. A few miles away he repeated the miracle for four thousand.
A little further and Peter caught the carp that provided the temple tax.
My eyes scan the lake where Jesus calmed wicked storms, not once but twice. And upon these waters, Jesus strolled with ease.
I’m surrounded by grand displays of God’s power. This landscape is marked by the miraculous in every direction.
This is easy to recognize when you’re beside the Galilee, overlooking the waters where Jesus lived. But the experience isn’t limited to people with the time and resources to make the trek to Israel.
Christ wants us to see these vistas in our daily lives. He wants us to awaken to all the places God unleashes mightiness—in our past and present, so we can look forward to a faith-filled future.
The provision supplied. The storms calmed. The relationships restored.
I catch this panorama in the ways God has sustained Leif and me. I remember the faces of those God has brought into my life to quell the pangs of loneliness. I look back to the many moves in my life and see how Jesus met and grew me through each one. I also remember the dark seasons, such as when the storm of financial ruin struck our lives; though it took years to repay, God provided all along the way. Then a cancer diagnosis that broke my body and my will, but even in that, God breathed new life.
If you look at your life through this panoramic lens, you’ll recognize the powerful displays of God’s presence through it all.
But if you stop looking to Jesus as your powerhouse, you may start thinking God is overlooking you, ignoring you, or worse yet, punishing you. If you close your eyes too long to God’s presence, you may convince yourself that somehow God has rejected you, or worse, has abandoned you altogether. You’ll grow deaf to the One who calls from the shore, the One who wants to fill your nets with the impossible and unimaginable.
Yet if you search your everyday life for the presence of Christ, you’ll begin to see the extra provision, extra might, extra grace that he’s slipping you. The way he provides an unexpected compliment from a friend. Or a familiar face that you weren’t expecting in a crowded place. Or a breathtaking sunset. These displays of God’s power are good and beautiful, like the fish the disciples caught. But the greatest miracle remains the One who sent them.