Where is the Monkey?
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Did you know there is a monkey buried at the International Space Hall of Fame?
When he was buried there, the monkey’s eulogy was given by Colonel Stapp from the United States military. This monkey had been trained in the early years of the space program. He could perform basic tasks such as pulling levers at different times.
The important thing, however, is that he went into space before any American men or women. Ham the Chimp rode a rocket into space and was there for sixteen minutes and was able to pull the levers in space just as he had been taught.
Ham’s flight was a success and he returned to earth unscathed and his place was cemented into space history. Of course, it was big news at the time, and everyone was fascinated with that chimpanzee.
Later when President Kennedy met with Astronaut John Glenn, who was the third person in space and the first American to orbit the earth, Kennedy brought along his daughter Caroline who was four years old at the time. She was disappointed in meeting John Glenn and turned to her father and asked, “Where’s the monkey?”
I have wondered at times if we aren’t like that just a bit with our walk with God. Only instead we ask the question, “Where is the miracle?”
Jesus when He was walking this earth grew frustrated at times with those who were always questioning Him. He performed many miracles. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He caused the blind to see and the mute to speak. He cast out demons and stilled storms.
Yet in Matthew 16, some of the leaders came to Jesus seeking a sign or a miracle. They wanted their own miracle. Jesus told them that no sign would be given to them (verse 4). Herod during the trial of Jesus was eager for Jesus to perform some miracle or sign for him (Luke 23:8-11). When Jesus didn’t, Herod and his soldiers mocked Him and ridiculed Him. They didn’t get the miracle that they wanted for their own entertainment.
At times we become disappointed in God because we pray for miracles to happen in our lives or in the lives of people that are near and dear to us and we don’t see them. Then our faith is shaken, and we are in danger of losing faith in Jesus.
The real miracle that Jesus wants to perform in our lives is the miracle of forgiveness and assurance of our future with Jesus.
The thief on the cross next to Jesus would no doubt have loved to live another day. He would have loved to be delivered from the pain of dying on the cross that day.
However, Jesus gave him a much greater miracle when He said to him that your future with Me is secure. He told that thief that he would be in heaven with Jesus. Nothing can take away that future.
Nothing can take away the miracle of a daily walk with Jesus that gives us assurance that no matter the challenge we are right with God.
So when you may be disappointed that the miracle that you wanted and asked for didn’t materialize, keep clinging to the miracle that happens each day as you walk with Jesus—The miracle of salvation and a growing relationship with Jesus.