Joel Osteen — Become a Miracle
I want to talk to you today about becoming a miracle. Many people right now are praying for a miracle. They're saying, "God, God, I need help with these children. I need training. God, I need a good break". We have to realize we can become the miracle they need.
God uses people. He has no hands to heal except our hands, no voice to encourage except our voice, no arms to hug except our arms, and God will bring people across our path so we can be the answer to their prayer. You may not realize it, but you are a miracle waiting to happen.
Somebody you know is lonely. They're praying for a friend. You're the miracle that they're waiting for. Somebody got a bad medical report. They're worried, praying, "God, please send me a sign. Let me know that you're still in control". You are that sign. A simple phone call, "Hey, I'm thinking about you. I want to let you know it's all going to work out". You just became their miracle.
Somebody is discouraged, saying, "God, I don't understand this subject. I'm not going to pass this course. God, send me somebody". You are that somebody. Take time to become the miracle. Be aware of who's in your life. They're not there by accident. God put them there on purpose. It's because you are full of miracles. There is healing in you, there's restoration, there's friendship, there are new beginnings, and life is so much more rewarding when you realize "I can be the answer to somebody's prayer. I can lift the fallen. I can restore the broken. I can be kind to a stranger".
I can become my brother Paul is in Africa right now, and most of you know he's a surgeon. For the next several months, he'll be operating on less fortunate people way back in the middle of nowhere. It's a remote village hundreds of miles from the nearest city. Tin building, barely has electricity, minimal medical supplies, only one doctor.
On a recent visit, a young man came in in the middle of the night that had been gored by an elephant's tusk, went right through his midsection. Paul took him back to the makeshift operating room to hopefully spare his life. The problem was there was no blood in the blood supply to replenish him with. Paul could've thought, "Too bad. I'd love to help you, but you're going to need several pints of blood, and it's just not your lucky day".
No, before he operated, he took 30 minutes and gave his blood. Then replenished the blood he'd lost with his own blood. What was he doing? Becoming a miracle. He could've prayed, "God, he's in bad shape. He sure needs a miracle". No, Paul realized, and we all know that God can do great things, we know God that can do miracles, but what I want us to see is he's put miracles in you.
You can be the answer to someone's prayer. You can be the good break they're looking for. You can be the help they'd been longing to have, and it may not be something as dramatic as saving their life, it may be just teaching your co-worker the skills you know, helping that family that's struggling with the rent, taking that young man to baseball practice with your son each week. It's no big deal to you, but it's a miracle to them. It's what will push them toward their destiny.
What kind of world would this be if we all had the attitude, "I am a miracle waiting to happen"? I've heard it said sometimes we don't need a miracle, we just need each other. Look around at who's in your life. Listen to what they're saying. Is there any way that you can help? Can you put in a good word for them at the office? Do they need a dress for a special occasion and you've got a dozen in your closet you're never going to wear? Do they live here alone, their family's in another state? You could invite them to have lunch with your family from time to time, make them feel welcome. Those are opportunities to become a miracle.
Good friend of mine grew up came from a single-parent family, and there wasn't always stability in the home. His dream was to become a television journalist. He loved to read and write, he got a scholarship to a major university. He's african american. He was accepted at this mostly white ivy league school. His roommate came from a very prestigious, influential family. He came from just the opposite, from the projects, a low-income family. But these two young men hit it off and became the best of friends.
He told his roommate his dream of becoming a journalist. His roommate said, "If you're going to be a journalist, you've got to have a better vocabulary. You don't know enough words". Every day, this roommate would get the dictionary out and teach his friend one new word, had him use it in sentences all through the day. This went on for four straight years. What was this roommate doing? Becoming a miracle. He took time to care. He realized his friend was in his life for a reason.
Today, this young man is one of the top newscasters in America. He works for a major network, seen on one of the most prestigious news programs. But I wonder where he would be if his roommate had not taken time to become a miracle.
Well, you say, "Joel, I don't want to hear about being a miracle, I need a miracle". Here's the key, if you will become a miracle, God will always make sure that you have the miracles that you need. As long as you're sowing these seeds, the right people will be in your future. The right opportunities, the breaks you need, God will get you to that's what it says in Proverbs 11. When you refresh others, you will be refreshed. If you want your dream to come to pass, help somebody else's dream come to pass. If you need a miracle, become a miracle. When you take time to invest in others, the seeds you sow will always come back to you.
I met two ladies after the service a few years ago, and one of them was a little older and one younger, and I thought they were mother and daughter. But the older one said, "No, we're not, but she's just like my daughter," and she told how before we moved the church from the northeast location to this new facility, she didn't know if she would be able to continue to come. To driving on the freeways. She was very concerned about it.
One day after service, she was telling a group of friends her dilemma, and this young lady that she had never met before overheard what she was saying. She stepped up and said, "How about I'll come pick you up each sunday and bring you"? The lady looked at her very surprised, she said, "Are you serious"? "Where do you live"? Come to find out they live 30 minutes apart, but that didn't stop this young lady.
She could've thought, "Well, I'd love to help you, but that's a long way. I'm busy in my career and gas is really high". No, she saw this as an opportunity now, every sunday morning, like clockwork, she pulls up in her driveway 9:30 in the morning, brings her to church. After this older lady told me this story, she hugged this young girl and said, "Joel, she's my miracle".
You can't help everyone, but you can help someone. There are people God has put in your path that are connected to your destiny. Then you will rise higher. As you meet their needs, God will meet your needs. As you become a miracle, God will give you miracles. But just the opposite is true. If we're too busy to help someone else, we're not going to have the help we need. If we're too caught up in our own dreams to invest in others, or too worried about our own problems to encourage somebody else, we're going to get stuck.
Reaching your highest potential is dependent on you helping someone else reach their potential. It's like a boomerang, when you help somebody else rise higher, it always comes back to you and you'll rise higher.
Jesus told a parable about a man that was walking down the road when he was attacked and beaten by these bandits. They left him on the ground almost dead. In a little while, a priest came by, saw the man from a distance, thought, "Boy, he's in bad shape. He sure needs a miracle. I'll be praying for him". Kept on going. Another man came by, a levite. He did a little better. He went over to the man, checked him out, felt sorry for him, thought, "Boy, this is really unfair". Went on down the road.
The third man, a samaritan, came by. Like the first two, he thought, "Boy, he sure needs a miracle". But he took it one step further and said, "You know what? I am his miracle. I'm at the right place at the right time. God put him in my path so I can be a healer, so I can be a restorer, so I can give him a new beginning".
The samaritan went to him, got down on his knees, and began to care for him. He gave him water from his canteen, took off his scarf and bandaged up his wounds. He then gently lifted him off the ground, placed him on his animal. He held him mile after mile as they walked to the nearest city. They got to the local inn, the hotel, he paid the owner, said, "You take care of him. Let him stay as long as he'd like. Give him anything that he needs and I promise you this, I'll come back and pay for any extra expenses".
My question today is, which man are you? It's easy to get so busy, "Joel, I don't have time to help others, I got my own problems". No, helping others can be the key to seeing your situation turn around. Those people you see that need encouragement, that need a ride, that need you to give blood, that need help in accomplishing a dream, those are opportunities for you to go to a higher level.
When you refresh others, you will be refreshed, the first example Jesus used was a priest. He couldn't stop, he had to get to the temple. He had religious duties to fulfill, didn't have time to bother with this man. After all, if he helped him, he might get his white robe bloody. He might not look presentable at the temple, had all kinds of excuses. But can I tell you true religion doesn't hide behind stained glass or fancy clothes, it goes to where the needs are, and when you get down low to lift somebody up, in God's eyes, you can't get any higher.
The closest thing to the heart of God is helping hurting people, and when you take time to restore the broken, you pour the healing oil on their wounds, encouraging them, wiping away their tears, letting them know that there are new beginnings, that's the religion Jesus talked about. True religion doesn't judge people to see if they deserve our help. "Well, she's in need, Joel, but I don't think she's living the right kind of life". Or "He's hurting, but it's his own fault. He's got the addiction. They brought the trouble on themselves".
No, Jesus said, "It's the sick who need the doctor, not the healthy," and God didn't call us to judge people, he called us to heal people. He called us to restore people. He called us to become their miracles. Anybody can find fault. Anybody can be critical and come up with excuses to pass on by, that's easy. But where are the people that will take time to care? Where are the people that will get down and dirty and help love them this third man, the samaritan, he immediately went to the man and started helping him, making a difference. He didn't think twice, he became the miracle.
That's the kind of people I want us to be, not too busy in our career, too busy with church work, not people like the second man that feel sorry for them. "I wish it hadn't happened. I feel bad. I'm going to be praying". No, let's become the miracle. God is counting on us. You can lift the fallen, you can heal the hurting, you can be a friend to the lonely, you can help a dream come to pass. You are full of miracles.
Friend of mine, young lady named Tammy Trent, she's a popular christian singer, and she told how she and her husband went to a tropical island for a vacation to celebrate their 11th anniversary. Her husband was a very skilled diver. He could go under water without an air tank for 6 or 7 minutes at a time. They got to the beach on the first day so excited, and the husband jumped in the water and started exploring the underwater caves. Tammy stayed on the beach to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Ten minutes went by and she didn't see a sign of her husband, got a little worried. Twenty minutes, still no sign. Thirty minutes, still didn't see her husband. She began to panic. She told the authorities, and they sent out boats and started looking hour after hour. Long story short, her husband drowned. They found his Tammy was not only in shock, totally devastated, but she was in this foreign country all alone with nobody that she knew. Her parents immediately made arrangements to come the next day.
The problem is this all happened on september 10, 2001. The next day was 9/11, all flights were grounded. She was there for days by herself. She felt alone and forgotten. She was so numb, she couldn't she finally was able to pray and said, "God, if you still care, send somebody to help me. God, send somebody to let me know that you're still there".
A few minutes, there was a knock on her hotel door. It was the housekeeper. She was an older jamaican woman, she said, "I don't mean to get in your business, but when I was cleaning the room next door, I couldn't help but hear you crying through the walls, and I was wondering if there's anything that I could pray with you about".
Tammy told her what had happened, and this older jamaican housekeeper put her loving arms around Tammy, held her like she was her own daughter. That moment, thousands of miles from home, Tammy knew that God was still in control. She took time to be a healer. She was sensitive to the needs around her, even hearing the cries from another room. She knew one reason she was here on earth was to help wipe away the tears.
That day, on Tammy's wounds. She became a miracle, and the scripture talks about how, one day, God will wipe away all the tears. There will be no tragedy, no more sickness, no more pain. But in the meantime, God is counting on you and me to wipe away those tears.
Are you lifting the fallen? Are you restoring the broken? Are you taking time to help somebody in need? It's great to come to church and celebrate. This is important. We come to be encouraged, and filled up, and strengthened, but our real assignment begins when we leave this building. Look around and find the discouraged. Listen for the cries for help. You may not hear them with your ears, but you can hear them with your heart. You see when somebody's down. All of a sudden, you feel that compassion flowing out to them.