“The spirit of a man can only endure so much and when it is broken, only a miracle can mend it.”—John Burroughs
In 2021 in the throes of the pandemic, the Barna Research Group reported that 38% of Pastors Considered Leaving the Ministry, 51% in mainline denominations. The health and well-being of many clergy is sadly failing. Many of those we serve are also in dire situations that seem untenable, irreconcilable, and in some cases irretrievably broken. They look to us for answers, but sometimes we need our own solutions. After a lengthy time of intense ministry, I bowed my head and simply prayed, “Lord, I need a miracle.” These situations are far above my pay grade to handle; I need You to step in. It’s not often that I pray this kind of prayer—perhaps I should more frequently. Maybe I don’t want to bother God,“I need to be responsible and figure things out myself.” With my head bowed, my spirit prayed what I couldn’t, “Lord I need a miracle.” I felt a release and could then let go and let God determine outcomes. We don’t know how He will get us into/out of situations, but He will.
A MIRACLE is a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a Divine agency. It is also a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences. 1 Corinthians 12:10 tells us that the power to perform miracles, or the ‘working’ of miracles’ (KJV) is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 19:11-12 says that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.” These are generally the type of phenomena we think of when we say we are “expecting a miracle,” and God does these kind every single day.
However, Author John Burroughs in his quote above suggests that there are other situations that also require God’s miraculous intervening power…specifically, brokenness of spirit. Proverbs 17:22 says A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Hit after hit can not only leave one exhausted, but a depressed spirit saps a person’s strength. Psalm 147:3 says of God, “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” Jesus Christ, our Messiah has been “sent to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1b) His healing and working of miracles goes beyond broken bones and reaches to broken hearts. Maybe you need to simply pray, “Lord, I need a miracle,” today.