By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
More than two thousand years ago the God of the the universe performed a miracle that is unmatched.
He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem.
Webster’s Dictionary defines miracle as, “an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, esp. to an act of God.” A virgin birth certainly classifies as a miracle, and of course, it happened during the time we now refer to as Christmas.
Miracles did not end with the birth of Jesus. During his short time on earth, Jesus performed several miracles, including bringing people back to life after they were presumed dead.
When Jesus Himself was crucified on the cross for our sins, He defied death and came out of the tomb; yet another miracle.
God is still in the miracle business. I have witnessed it numerous times in my life. Three years ago, our first grandson, Eli, was born about six weeks early and had numerous complications. We left the hospital on Christmas Day that year not knowing if we would ever hold that precious baby in our arms because at that time we didn’t know if he would even make it out of the hospital.
As he celebrates his third birthday on Dec. 17, he is a typical 3-year-old, talking non-stop, driving his parents and grandparents crazy, but we’re all loving every minute of it (most of the time). He still has a health issue but don’t we all. God worked a miracle in Eli’s life and I tell people about it whenever I can.
Ironically, one of the first major stories I had a part in when I joined the Baptist and Reflector staff 27 years ago was an interview with Paul Clark Sr. The elder Clark had undergone a heart transplant and was doing wonderfully well as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson. He was an incredible man of God and his son, Paul Jr., certainly has followed in his dad’s footsteps.
Paul joined the convention staff 15 years ago as music and worship specialist. There is no telling how many churches across Tennessee have benefited from conferences and workshops that Paul has led for them or that their staffs have attended.
Paul truly has a passion to see churches worship the God that he loves so dearly.
About a month ago, Paul suffered a devastating stroke. He is in a rehab center but his progress has been slow.
His son, Ben, posted these remarks on Facebook on Dec. 7, his dad’s birthday.
“Visited dad last night. He is doing better, of course that is a relative term, but better is the direction we want to be going. As with most stroke patients in the beginnings of recovery, it is terribly difficult to understand anything he says. You can see the frustration in his eyes as I believe he is just as aware we cannot understand him, as we are. …
“I have trouble containing my heartbreak seeing him in his current state and tend to tear up a lot. During one time, I was holding his hand and he squeezed it and spoke a sentence. The only word I understood was, “faith.” I don’t know if he was telling me to keep my faith in God or that he was keeping his faith in God for His healing powers. Doesn’t really matter, we are both on the same page.
“As we prepared to leave, I hugged and kissed my dad and told him how much I loved him. He began repeatedly squeezing my hand. While in normal circumstances, it may not signify much, in these circumstances, it meant the world. It was some much needed non-verbal communication. It was the, “I love you too, son” I needed. So, it was both a good and an encouraging visit.”
Pray that God will perform another of His amazing miracles this Christmas. I would love nothing better than to have Paul Clark Jr. write a guest column next Christmas, giving praise for God’s amazing grace and mercy on his life.