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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Today’s Reading | Acts 9:26–31

Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner. (NRSV)

I have always wrestled with the miracle stories of the Bible. This does not diminish my belief that God can do anything, but my mind struggles to imagine what it looks like to see someone healed by simply telling them to “get up.” If it was that easy, I suppose the world would be a much different place.

But there is something wonderful in the simplicity of this story. Peter doesn’t need to recite fancy prayers or go on a quest to bring someone back to life. Peter believes and allows God to work through him, and thus miracles happen that simply. Maybe this is where I go wrong; maybe I am overthinking miracles and my relationship with God.

Oftentimes we overthink our relationship with God, and this can sometimes lead to a spiritual analysis paralysis and we fail to move or take action. What would happen if we simply allowed God to move through us without all the overthinking? What wondrous ways could God’s work be done more than it already is? How can we simply allow God to work through us without overthinking it?

God, help us to have a more simplified relationship with you. Work through us so that your work might be accomplished here in our world. Allow us to live simply with you. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High and Confirmation Youth Coordinator

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