Do you believe in miracles?

Do you see them in the everyday?

We read of Jesus miracles throughout the gospels, as He healed {Luke 18:35-43, Mark 5:21-43 & 6:53-56, Matt. 9 & 15:29 for example}, as He provided food for the multitudes {Matt. 14:13-21}, He calmed storms {Mark 4:35}, He walked on water {Mark 6:45}, cast out and healed those with demons {Luke 9:37}, and perhaps the most amazing miracle of Jesus was His forgiveness of the most wretched sinners… whose sin hung him to the cross {Luke 7:36, John 3:16-21}.

But do we believe these kinds of miracles exist today?

Do we truly believe what the word of God says in John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” {ESV}


When we pray, do we pray with the deep faith that can move mountains, do we believe that God not only listens to our prayers, but that He can alter what He allows us to experience in this life, that He can change what could have been our future? Do we believe that we can actually participate in the miracles of God here on earth with Him?

We who believe in God, would say, ‘well yes, of course we believe.’ But do we live those miracles? Do we look for His hand in our lives and those around us? Do we step out in faith through prayer and walking in faith as we ‘do’ what God calls us to?

Take birth for example, many think of it as a normal thing we humans can just do. We were designed to procreate. Many even will attest that yes, the ability to conceive and birth another human is a miracle. But do we actually celebrate as that? Do we appreciate the privilege that it is to partner with God in bringing forth life? Or do we take it for granted in our attitude?  He brings forth life. And He has given us the mechanical ability to bring forth life as well… by His design and will. Every birth is a miracle.

But to be honest, I struggle to see the other ‘miracles’ sometimes.

Especially in America, in the 21st century, with all our medical advances and scientific research, we often find ‘other reasons’ for why we have healed… right?! We aren’t so quick to shout from the mountain top that God has done a miracle… for fear of looking ‘nuts.’ So we rationalize, and question… “Did He?” Did He just heal me?

But God is the Lord of it all. The Science, the medical advances… He has allowed it. He has allowed FREE Will. We have the choice to rationalize and look for the reasons that make sense, or to simply trust His sovereign will and thank Him. To have an attitude of thanksgiving. I am not saying, not to research when you have medical issues. I am questioning my own ability to recognize Him in the midst of all we seem to walk through in this life and be willing to stop rationalizing and just PRAISE.

My Health Update…

As many of you know from my story here, 9 years ago I was diagnosed with a tumor, which grew to be over the size of a golf ball. After extraction, we were pleased to get the results that the tumor was benign. Again this past December, I found another ‘tumor.’ After asking many friends for prayer, I went for an MRI just a few weeks ago, which stated that I did in fact have a tumor and also another bump which they suspected was a cyst. One and a half weeks later, I went to see a podiatrist for the cyst. Just for details sake, the tumor had been rock hard since we discovered it and had also double in size in those 3 weeks. But on this particular day, the ‘tumor’ seemed to have changed in its consistency. It had softened. Upon meeting with the specialist, he believed firmly it was not a tumor, but a cyst as well and then proceeded to aspire it right then and there. Proving that, this so-called ‘tumor’ was now in fact a cyst! Praise the Lord!

I do have another appointment set up in a week as a follow-up, and I am able to walk on it again {it took me just a couple of days of hobbling}. But, the embarrassing thing was that, I didn’t know what to do with this outcome. I was so shocked. Imaging and doctors had given a clear diagnosis of a tumor and I was preparing myself for that ‘road.’ Which I do know first hand, but also for the road I have been so blessed to not experience… the road of cancer. Honestly, the thought had crossed my mind, what if I am not so ‘lucky’ this time. And I don’t even believe in luck. Truthfully, I was thinking about what we all should think about… the inevitable… the end of our earthly existance.

The enemy had me right where he wanted me. Doubting. Did God really heal me? Was it the power of prayer? Or was I misdiagnosed? Was there something wrong with the imaging?

Why couldn’t I just quit being such a skeptic and simply praise Him. I was in shock. I was distracted by all those things this culture clings to as false gods– statistics and odds.

These past two weeks were kind of crazy, and mind you I was lacking sleep, as I was taking on the roll of Dr. Mom through many nights treating children who had the flu. But really, REALLY, let’s call it what it really was… I was being tempted by the enemy with fear and doubt. So upon receiving this blessing, I was in shock.

I had allowed my thoughts to go to the ‘worse case scenario’ far too many times over the past 3 and a half weeks. Isn’t that just like us. I am naturally a optimistic person, trying to stay positive, but that enemy of ours found my weakness and played me like a fiddle. He knew, if he could pull me away from the word… my life source… what keeps life intriguing, constantly challenged, and growing, if he could pull me away from that which fills me with his promises and distract me long enough, he could derail me… shake me up. And I have to say, honestly, I was shaken. Those five days, where all six kids had one symptom of the flu or another and constant needs through the night, wore me clean out. I was too tired to read anything or listen to anything thought provoking. I would preach to myself about God’s goodness. But not being consistenly in the Word, not other books, but the Word of God weakened me enough to doubt if He was actually the one who healed me. I was weaker than usual. I could feel it. I was running on empty.

On those nights when I would lack in self-control of taking every thought captive under the headship of Christ, I would cry. Thinking of the future… or the reality that there might not be one. Then I would catch myself and rebuke myself, “Angie, do you love your life?” Has it become an idol? Has my love for my kids and my husband, for ministry or making impact for God become an idol, a wall between simply resting in His peace and being content? Why was I not excited with whatever the outcome may be? You say excited? Cancer? That’s ridiculous. Spoken from someone who doesn’t know. No. That is not what I mean. I mean excited for the next journey with Christ, after life. Excited to see God glorified in whatever cup He serves me, knowing and trusting His goodness and love.

We sing, “You are my all in all, but was He?” Or was there something else I was relying on for my complete joy?  It’s so healthy to ask these questions?

It’s healthy to become aware that life is fragile. That we don’t know, any of us, how many days we may have here.

We hear saying like, Live everyday like it’s your last. But do we?

Or, “Don’t Waste Your Life!” I so badly didn’t want to waste whatever lesson God may have for me to learn. To share with my children. I want that to be part of my legacy, walking through life intentionally. Not just putting a movie on for the kids, but instead sitting and reading to them, talking with them about what we just read and practicing listening to their deep thoughts. I want my kids to remember and see mom leaning into the scriptures in the morning, see me being honest about my struggles and watching the Lord shine BRIGHT through me… through the joy only He can put in you when you simply don’t feel well… when you are sick.

If you haven’t yet read “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” by John Piper, it’s a must. He wrote this a year after my first experience with my tumor removal. He put to words what I so deeply experienced. I had not wanted to “waste” any of the pain I experienced, the fear, the questioning, the introspection… I knew and trusted that if God had allowed this, than He meant it for my good. But the good can only be found when you are looking for it.

Look for it… I preached to myself.

After a good cry, I would preach to myself… again… and remember that God works all things together for good. His good and our good. Cancer is not good. But sometimes, He allows it. And sometimes, He allows us to walk through a season where we are left to believe we might have it… simply to strengthen our faith and to reveal what is truly in our hearts.

This whole “trial” of sorts has definitely been a time of refining for our family and for Isaac and I personally. Even in this short time.

My faith was tested, and I experienced His peace and presence even through the enemy’s temptations to tempt me to fear. I could have had a miserable Christmas. I could have focused on it, dwelt on it, and ruined everyone’s Christmas. But I honestly was so distracted.

Distracted by all that God was doing around me, in my family, and those I love. I was distracted by the gift that baby Jesus was to this world. I was distracted by the responsibility of caring for sick children, hosting parties, and enjoying fun dates out with my dear husband. I was distracted by all that the Lord was teaching me. Life is sanctifying isn’t it?

I was tempted not to share with you all what I was going through, to hide it away and deal with it in my heart.  I was tempted to not ask for prayer or mention on social media, because well… that’s just not me to be ‘needy.’ But then the Lord convicted my heart and confused my intelligence. He said, this may make no sense to you, but I want you to share about today— what you are feeling today.

So I shared. And you prayed. You cared.

As Christians we often pray for healing, but we don’t always expect it.

And that is wrong.

When the Lord does answer our prayers, they way we plead; when He does heal us as we reach out to Him… do we praise His name? Honestly, sometimes I think we insufficiently praise Him for it because of the “medical diagnosis” or what not. To one doctor, I might have had a tumor, to another it was a cyst. Many might say I was misdiagnosed, but I am choosing to praise the Father in Heaven for his provision and care for me and my family either way.

Either Way, I will Praise You

That is the Legacy I want to walk… Praising Him in all things, the good and the bad and recognizing His miracles, willing to verbally praise Him for them.

I am choosing to believe that He allows us to walk through what we walk through in life for our good and His glory… and that prayer does make a difference. Some of you who prayed for me, may only pray to God when something goes wrong or a friend is in need. For you, I am thankful you reached out to the Father on my behalf, but I want to tell you that He desires an even deeper relationship with you. He wants to celebrate with you, rejoice and bless you, and He wants to carry you in the hard times too. But even more importantly, the Lord wants you to know Him– to know and experience the freedom and abundance that can be yours in Christ everyday! The freedom that comes in receiving forgiveness and being equipped to give it freely, the longing for a purpose fulfilled in knowing that your life was planned and that you were created with gifts and talents to make an important and unique impact in this generation in time. The Lord wants to speak to you, guide you with His wisdom, see you thrive independent from addiction and freed from the power of idols. And more than anything… He desires to be reconciled to you. He doesn’t want to be your jeanie in a bottle.

So this is where my faith has brought me…

If God healed my tumor, turning it into a cyst… Praise Him! If He allowed it to not grow into a tumor in the first place and the first doctor was wrong…. I Praise Him! And if He would have chosen that road {tumors and cancer} for me… I would still Praise Him.

I hope and pray that something, anything of what I have shared with you, blesses your heart, your life, your ‘today.’

I leave you with this beautiful verse… and remember even Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples doubted. Even He, who walked and talked with Our Savior had doubted His power, but blessed are we who do not see and still believe. Thomas became an amazing missionary to India, Ethopia, and Parthia {Iran territory} after Christ’ death and resurrection. His faith led Him to do amazing miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit leading many to Christ. There was a purpose in his doubting… because great doubt can lead to great faith and conviction when Christ proved his doubt wrong.

“I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

What miracles have you seen lately? Or what miracles have you failed to Praise Him for?

God Bless. Your Sister in the Journey,

Angie Tolpin