TONY ELDER: Take time to ponder the miracles of Christ

During our recent trip to the beach, I saw many of the usual sights as I looked out over the ocean.

There were a few heads and shoulders sticking out of the water from those people wading off shore. There were several bodies restfully sprawled horizontally on floats bobbing along with the movement of the waves.

An occasional kayaker would paddle past. And in the mornings you might be fortunate enough to see a few dolphins go gliding by.

But there was one sight I had a hard time getting accustomed to. It was seeing someone who, from a certain angle and distance, appeared to be standing on the surface of the water. At times you could see the thin board underneath the person's feet, but other times it was hidden.

I understand that it's called a paddleboard. It allows someone to paddle himself along in an upright position, that is, once he's learned to maintain his balance.

I watched one young guy work hard at doing so for quite a while, but the last time I saw him he was still frequently making a splash as he fell off the board into the water.

Viewing someone who appeared to be standing on the top of the sea caused me to think how seeing Jesus walk on water must have looked to His disciples. He wasn't just standing upright. He was taking steps.

There was no board underneath him and no paddle in his hands. He didn't just appear to be walking on water from a particular angle. He was actually doing it.

The closer He approached the clearer it became that this was no clever stunt -- this was a miracle.

Some of us may have become so accustomed to reading about the miracles of Christ that we've lost some of the wonder in our eyes. My experience at the beach gave me a fresh sense of awe at the thought of someone actually walking on the surface of the sea.

Or imagine someone being raised from the dead as Jesus raised up Lazarus.

Think about attending a friend's funeral, viewing the dead body, and witnessing it being lowered into the grave. Then Someone comes along a couple of days later instructing the grave to be dug up and the casket to be opened. When it is, your friend pops up alive and well.

Or imagine being in the middle of a storm, the setting for another of Jesus' miracles.

David Chandley interrupts your TV program to show you the nasty red blob on the radar heading your direction. The wind begins to howl and the torrent of rain begins to fall.

But then Someone interrupts the weatherman saying "Peace, be still." And suddenly the weather outside is calm and that red blob totally disappears from the radar.

Let's not lose sight of how great it was when Jesus caused the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and all the other miracles He performed.

Likewise, let's not get too accustomed to the great things He still does today.

Let's not take for granted the miracle of a soul saved and a life transformed through faith in Jesus. Let's not downplay the answers to our prayers.

Let's not overlook how the Lord has helped us through those impossible-looking circumstances of our lives -- opening the door to a better job, providing for our financial needs, healing our bodies, and restoring a broken relationship.

During my few days at the beach, I never got used to that sight of someone seemingly standing on the water. Similarly, let's never lose our wonder at the miracles Jesus did and the great things He's still doing in our lives today.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.