“Who is Jesus?” She types in the translator only two weeks home from China.
Her brand new daddy looks at me with eyes open wide, big and filled with the endless blue of the sea. For this moment we’ve prayed. He types into the computer screen, “He is the Son of God.”
My heart pauses, gallops in my chest, I hold my breath long, hard, tight, as if I’m trying to rid myself of hiccups. Oh, how I long to tell my sweet daughter about this Jesus Who is gilding all my broken parts together with pure gold, this Jesus Who is strong in my weakness, Who effortlessly transcends the natural and the spiritual, Who brought her home to me from China when I was so undeserving of the blessing that she is. I want to tell her of this miracle worker Who loves her more than she can even hope to ever be loved.
Scripture fills me. Yet, I wonder, how much can she take in all at once through an electronic translator?
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6-8
My words are barren, deficient, found wanting to explain the miraculous.
The skeptics say there are no miracles.
Yet, I know Him, He Whose life was nothing if it wasn’t miraculous, from His birth to His resurrection, He lived, fully man yet fully God. If that’s not miraculous, then what is?
God’s Word fills me just as Jesus said it would.
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-32
Lord Jesus, give us the words.
Eleven of the twelve disciples died a martyr’s death, and Judas fell on his own sword after betraying Jesus, for how does one live in the face of utter separation from Jesus? Would Jesus’s apostles die for a lie? Would not even one of them have bailed?
Confidence fills me again. God’s Word breathes life into my impoverished words.
She looks back at us, serious, her deep brown eyes wanting to know, longing for real answers, this child of my heart whom God placed in my arms from a whole world away. She is a miracle. Her life, her entire life is a miracle. The fact that she survived in a country where lives are snuffed out if they can’t check off all the boxes on the paper, if they can’t dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, in a society where no one is safe if they are special.
Yet she sits before me, this child whose life transcends the natural merely by her existence, this child who survived for nearly fourteen years until she was finally placed in her mother’s arms, this child whose resilience staggers me, sits before us now and asks us to explain the miraculous.
This miracle child who yearns for love inside that special place where hope lives and thrives amidst the most impossible of circumstances, inside that place that longed for a mommy and daddy, that lofty place that longs for meaning and purpose, for eternity and God, this child asks us to explain the miraculous.
Eagerly, she types on the keyboard in her lovely mandarin characters that translate to English instantly before our eyes. Her words snatch our breath from our lungs and our hearts race hard, Lord Jesus, gives us the words.
“Does every nation know it?”
Does every nation know it?
Her words rebound in our mind.
Truth. It’s God’s truth we long to tell her.
Her two week old daddy’s hands type the words that speak the truth.
“No, sweet heart, every nation doesn’t know it.”
She shakes her head knowingly. I see the questions forming in her mind, her gifted mind that is beautiful and loved and yet is the very reason she was so carelessly discarded at birth. I know the question I need to answer for her. I sit in awe, staring at this child who yearns for answers to the questions the whole world asks. And even though I already have nine biological children, I am suddenly aware of how brand new I am at mothering my newly adopted daughters.
Her daddy, who suddenly seems so much less new to parenting an adopted teenager than I am, types in the words she yearns to hear.
“But every nation will come to know Jesus. God loves every person in every nation in every culture all over the world. He came to bring life, more abundant and free, to everyone. One day, everyone will come to see Jesus as our Savior. The Bible tells us that.”
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. – Revelations 7:9
6Who, being in very nature of God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:6-11
She shook her head, her eyes wide with wonder. Then she typed in the translator, “I know this man. He is God. His people bring us clothes and candy and pray with us.”
Tears welled up in my eyes. My precious daughter already knew that miracles were real. There was no need for me to try to explain the supernatural to my little miracle girl. She already believed. Her life, too, was a series of miracles from the very beginning.
This Jesus, Whose miracles athiests and skeptics have tried to explain away for years, perhaps because all of their wisdom holds them back from accepting the reality of the Risen Christ through faith alone, or perhaps because they do not want to surrender to an authority higher than themselves, had already been working His miracles to change the course of my daughter’s life, to bring her to Himself, to place her in our family, long before we even knew we would ever adopt.
Jesus is as alive today as He was on the day of His resurrection, and He is still working His miracles today.
There is no greater miracle story to tell than the story of God, coming to earth in the form of a baby, for the sole purpose of going to the cross, to pay for every lie we’ve ever told, for every angry word we’ve ever spoken, for every time we’ve chosen to put ourselves before Him, for every time we’ve refused to believe. He came to call us brothers and sisters, to share with us all that the Father has given Him. He came to unite every nation on the globe in love and peace and joy. He came to offer us a relationship with Him, and eternal life.
That’s the miracle of Easter.