“So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and hasten to go down for about a whole day.  And there has been no day like that, before it or after it.”  Joshua 10:14

Abracadabra!  The magician calls out and then, having everyone’s attention, completes his amazing feat of magic.  But it’s not just about a magician or a star.  There was a time when I was running my own business (besides writing I am now at least part time back in the corporate world so that gives you a sense about how successful I was) and one of the most consistent mantras for success was about marketing your brand.  You needed that thing that would set yourself apart, that video that would go viral with an enormous amount of hits, that thing that would cause people to beat down your door trying to get your business.  The vast majority of unsolicited business offerings I receive are about how to successfully market myself.

The sun stands still for an entire day.  We are not talking here about being at the north pole during summer when the sun does not set.  This is a city and its surroundings called Gibeon which was in the ancient land of Canaan, which is now modern day Israel.  The sun sets there; every day.  Well, except for this one day.  Joshua had brought the people of Israel across the Jordon River and, at God’s direction, were conquering the peoples living there.  A people who Joshua made a treaty with are being attacked because they made that treaty and they plead with Joshua for help.  His enemy is a collection of kings with a great army.  Believing in God’s promise to him and the Israelites, Joshua doesn’t hesitate.  He attacks and the Israelites are being spectacularly successful but there is a problem.  This was long before the time of night vision goggles or even flashlights and torches are not going to illuminate the battlefield enough to continue to wage the battle.  Some might escape in the darkness.  So Joshua calls upon God.  He petitions God that to carry out God’s plan, to complete the destruction of His enemies, that the light will not fail, the sun will not set.  God hears Joshua’s petition and grants it.  And Joshua carries out God’s plan.

Think about 1400 years later.  God is walking the earth in the form of Jesus Christ and He’s performing miracles.  Yet again, never do you hear Christ shouting out, come one come all, to see me.  While He sends his disciples out, it is not so that they can drum business for Him or spread His fame.  So often when Jesus performs His miracles, He specifically instructs the recipients to not tell about Him.  When He does complete a miracle within a crowd, like in a temple, it is to instruct those, so much in need of instruction, about the qualities of mercy and forgiveness.  Those whom He heals are not just props in some cosmic grand show.  No, these are people deeply loved, who are deeply in trouble, beyond doing for themselves and God steps in.

God needs no marketing plan.  As the Psalmist declares in Psalm 19:  The heavens declare the Glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  So why the miracles, if not for Him?  We need them.  They come for us.  Sometimes it is to bring about a healing or change in physical circumstances that are completely beyond our control.  Sadly, sometimes it is to demonstrate His power because we loose our way and believe our power equal to His.  But always, they are out of love for us.  God yearns for us to understand just how much He loves us, how important we are to Him.  We are important, not because what we can do for Him, no far from it.  God needs nothing from us.  But important because He created us.  He created us out of love for a loving relationship and no miracle is too tough to demonstrate that love.  Even the miracle of leaving perfection (heaven) and coming down to lawlessness, depravity and evil (earth). Even the perfection of living amongst us and end the end, dying for us.  Can there be any greater miracle?

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we proclaim that You created all things and are still in control of all things.  We also humbly acknowledge that we turn away from You to things that this world markets to us as better alternatives.  We thank You Blessed Father, that You do not turn from us but will bring all Your Heavenly Power to bear for us to save us.  We praise You as the God of miracles and the God of love.  We pray for Your help to keep us in the spirit of humble knowledge of Your Great Power and Your Great Mercy.  And we come to You with Praise and Thanksgiving for Your Miraculous Gift or Your Son Jesus Christ for our lives and our salvation.  Help us, when we pray for miracles, for those miracles to be not just about us, but about Your will in and with us.  That all miracles would be used to Praise Your Most Holy Name we pray.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

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