A life of faith always includes the option of a miracle.

When God saved the oppressed offspring of Abraham from slavery in Egypt, there were signs and wonders aplenty. The Nile River turned to blood, darkness shrouded the land, waters parted — God was at work.

When God gave Jericho to Joshua and the Israelites, a miracle brought down the city walls. When Daniel was rescued from hungry lions, a miracle happened. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tossed into a blazing furnace by the wicked King of Babylon, a miracle brought them out unharmed.

Then, miracle of miracles, God raised his Beloved Son from death's strong grasp. Neither guards at the tomb nor all the powers of hell could defeat him.

Yet a life of faith also involves the ordinary. There is more of the ordinary than the miraculous; more that is routine than spectacular. And the expectation of some people that supernatural intervention will become the norm in their lives is a misleading hope that can become a faith-destroying falsehood.

Once Israel was through the waters of the Red Sea, that vast company had to live in harsh wilderness for forty years. Think not only of the three men thrown into Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, but Joseph and Rahab, John the Baptist or Silas. The list just goes on and on — until it includes your name and mine as well.

Against the occasional miracle, most of the events in the lives of those biblical characters were routine and ordinary. Trekking in hot sand under a blistering sun. Working as captives in a foreign land. Getting by in jail without being killed by another inmate. Dealing with criticism. Handling self-doubt.

More often than not, God does not abolish the less-than-ideal situation in which he finds people. Instead, he enters it with us. He shares our plight. He allows our faith to be tested — with the promise that it never will be put to a test above our ability to withstand. He stays close to supply the strength we need.

God has performed many miracles in history and still shows himself in occasional bright moments of his presence. Those become part of our history and help ground faith. But, he more typically walks through our ordinariness with us.

God still works in the ordinary.
In Jesus, we learn the lesson of Immanuel — God is with us. He is there to work redemptively in our job losses and disappointments, addictions and family crises, setbacks and heartaches, illness and death.

If you don't see a miracle today, don't quit. God still works in the ordinary.

But although the world was made through him, the world didn't recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:11-12 NLT)