Monday, April 20, 2015

The Miracles We Miss

*Alex Prager "Face in the Crowd" Exhibit
I love this Art Exhibit by the Artist Alex Prager. It is called "Face in the Crowd", and what I find so compelling about this piece is that it forces the viewer to stop their life for a moment and take in the realization that they are not alone. You look at this piece and you notice every detail in the faces, body language, eyes and posture of everyone around you and one cannot help but wonder what each of the people may be dealing with at that moment in their life. There is an even greater sense of ones personal significance when they view this piece because it provides the viewer with the opportunity to see themselves as just a face in the crowd. The viewer will realize within a few moments of viewing this piece that they themselves have become just a face in the crowd as they sought to notice others. This truly is a compelling piece.
In the previous post, "God: The Invisible Man (Click Here), we began looking at the idea of God appearing to be absent in our lives and the seasons of life where His presence is questioned.
Several years back I became re-acquainted with a passage of scripture that  I had memorized as a boy but had completely missed out its depth and beauty.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
Two key words are used here. 1) All thy ways & 2) Acknowledge Him.

"All thy ways" would be everything that I do, everywhere that I go, and everyone I meet.

"Acknowledge" means to search for or discover intently.

So you could read the passage this way.

"In everything you do, in everyone that you meet and everywhere that you go, intently search for God and He WILL direct your path."

When is the last time that you asked your Father, "Why?" when it came to the things that you have seen, or have done, or in whom you have met?

I always try to ask this at the end of each day. "Out of everything that I could have seen why was I allowed to see the things that I saw today?"

"Out of everything that I could have done today, why was I allowed to do what I have done?"

"Out of everyone that I have spoken to, why was I allowed to speak to the people that I have spoken to today at the times when I did?"
Think for a moment about your favorite radio station. You get in the car or at work and you "tune in" to that station right? Now let me ask you, did that station begin broadcasting when you tuned in, or was it broadcasting long before you tuned in? The answer is simple. It was broadcasting regardless if you chose to tune in or not.

God is speaking every single day and it is mind blowing how loud He does this! It is like that radio station. His voice is all around you regardless if you "tune in" or not. He never stops calling out to you.
Let me share with you what God brought to my attention this morning that re-affirmed this truth as well as challenged me with the faces that get lost in my crowd and I believe will challenge you as well. First lets look at a crowd of faces and you are going to be blown away by what you see.
( I am apologizing in advance for the length but I wanted you to get a feel for where the Lord led me to read this morning and I want you to experience this as well)
"Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city; Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two. The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two. The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five. The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five. The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two. The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three. The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two. The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six. The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six. The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four. The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three. The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve. The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three. The children of Gibbar, ninety and five. The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three. The men of Netophah, fifty and six. The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight. The children of Azmaveth, forty and two. The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three. The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one. The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two. The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three. The children of Nebo, fifty and two. The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six. The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five. The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four. The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight. The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon, The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub, The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan, The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah, The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam, The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai, The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim, The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda, The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty." ~ Ezra 2:1-64
This was a lot and again I apologize for listing all 64 verses. I realize that many of you just scrolled and I counted on your doing so.
"Dan, why did you do that to me? I hate long sections of Bible names!!!" You may have remarked, and you are not alone. They are pretty boring but it was here in this crowd of faces that God showed me one of the most impressive miracles of the ENTIRE Bible!
At first glance, this would never make it into a list of top ten miracles but it is every bit as miraculous as 5,000 people eating two loaves of bread and five fish. It is on the level of a red sea parting, 3,000 people being saved in one day, blind being healed, and the dead returning to life. What makes it so miraculous is that God's presence was right there in that list and you and I missed it!
You read that passage and thought as I have thought, "OK, its a lot of people going back to their home." right? Yes and No.
In the list of people going home, right at the very start of the list you have this ordinary guy named Mordecai. He is in line getting his paperwork processed, gets his passport stamped and then moved along. Unknown to everyone involved with him that day and close to 63 years after this very moment, there will be a young queen named Esther who is troubled about what to do when the fate of her peoples survival rests in her hands. She will turn to her uncle Mordecai and it is this man who will forever be remembered for speaking destiny into play with these words to Queen Esther.
"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" ~ Esther 4:14 
The miracles we miss are often the faces in the crowd that we look past trying to see God move in more DRAMATIC ways.
Take ten seconds and think about three people that were your Mordecai. Three people who spoke into your life and completely changed your path to direct you where you are today.
Got them?
OK, now think of the very first time that you met those three people. Did you miss them for the miracle that they were?
The miracles we miss are the people we meet and interact with on a day to day basis. No one had a clue on that day of "Home ward bound" moving that this guy would be the one that God used as a catalyst to save an entire nation.
The faces in the crowd that surrounds you call you dad, mom, son, daughter, employee, employer, church member, life group member, neighbor, co-worker, and friend. They interact with you for a purpose and they are just as big of a miracle as a red sea parting.
63 years before the night mentioned in Esther 4, God was already bringing into play His plan of deliverance for the Jewish people. Long before your moment of distress, God had already been moving people in and out of your life to help direct your steps and bring you to a point of deliverance.
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." ~ Proverbs 16:9
You make plans for what your life will be, but God is using so much to direct your attention to just how much He has planned for you. He will use so many people to impact one life that it is staggering. You want to see God move like He did on the old days? You want to see miracles like those mentioned in the book of Acts? OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!
You will be amazed at the miracles that we miss. Go get lost in the crowd today and recognize how God moves certain people into your life for certain seasons for certain purposes and moves them back out again. Sometimes they stay and sometimes they leave but all the time they are a witness to God's overwhelming and relentless love for you.
Climbing with you,
* The painting above is called "The crowd". I love this piece because it is hundreds of people on the canvas and yet within the contrasts of all of the people, if you really look at it, you will see faces. Look at who God has placed in your life at this very moment. For your apparent good or bad, and know they have been strategically placed to help you become who He made you to be!


  1. Oh my!!! This just blew my brain into the atmosphere!!! Thank you so much for this! A beautiful reminder of all the joy we could be missing out on....if only we would look and see!

    1. Thank you do much for your encouraging words Julie Keene. I enjoy being able to express my heart in words. You also have this gift and I highly recommend your blog aswell!