Last year I broke my foot. It was painful and it made life challenging with two young kids! Surprisingly, this is not the first time I have injured my foot. It is in fact the third time. The first time I was away on a spiritual retreat. One moment my prayer partner and I were chatting about life, communing in a lush green paddock, the next I was in a heap on the ground with searing pain pulsing through my ankle, which had begun to look more like a football than a foot. That day ended differently to what I had expected.
For weeks, I hobbled around in pain, limited by injury. I could not work for days. I could not go to places I wanted to go. I was stuck and I had to wait patiently, or rather impatiently, for my ankle to heal. Many prayed and I was grateful, but the injury still took a long time to heal. I remember that months later, although everything appeared back to normal on the outside (no more football), I could feel the weakness on the inside. As time went by I began to accept that this was normal. I accepted that I would have to live with the aftermath of that moment forever.
At the time, my parents were Co-Pastors of a church and I was one of the Youth Leaders. Our church was a small gathering in the outskirts of the city we lived in. There was nothing remarkable about our church or me. We were normal everyday people who were learning to love God and each other. Sometimes we did this well, other times not so much.
One night we were gathered in our inconspicuous building, holding our normal evening service. I remember I was sitting towards the back. I remember I had no expectations that I would encounter God in an extraordinary way that day.
Then it happened. Something shifted during worship. I can’t tell you why or how but God showed up. The worship leader declared that the presence of God was in the room and he could see a rain falling on us. I felt it coming. I felt my foot begin to tingle as if it had pins and needles. And I knew that my ankle was completely healed. No one prayed for me, no one spoke to me. I was simply in the room.
From that moment forward my left ankle was just as strong as my right. It was a miracle.
God often performs miracles in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways. A baby born in a manger in Bethlehem, a woman healed after twelve years of bleeding, the lepers and the lame. The one thing we do know is that God desires to show up. He desires to dwell with His people. He rescued them from slavery so that they would worship Him in freedom. He rescued you and I from sin so that we can worship Him today.
That Sunday ended differently to what I had expected. And that is just like God, the only thing we can expect of God is the unexpected. Sometimes days end for the worse but with God we have the great hope that there is always a better ending to come.
In the midst of the corporate anointing He releases personal blessing. His grace and love abounds towards His children. He is faithful when we are gathered together as the Body of Christ. He dwells amongst us ready to pour out his love on us, we just need to be in the room.