Miracles are possible – When you Believe!

A faith commentary on Leon Jackson’s debut song, When you believe!

Leon Jackson’s debut single, “When you believe” is at No 1 slot in the UK top 10 list. I heard the song just a few days after it was released (Dec 16). It was refreshing to hear a fresh voice render the song by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. The song was the Original Sound Track for “Prince of Egypt”.

I also noted that large parts of the song had been changed from the original one sung by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. And Leon has changed a song that was about faith in God and reduced it to a song that spreads skepticism about God’s existence. In all the chipping and chopping, Human autonomy has replaced human dependence on God. Take a look at the change in the words.

OST Version
Leon Jackson’s Version
In this time of fear/ When prayer so often proves in vain/ Hope seems like the summer birds/Too swiftly flown away/ And now I am standing here/ My hearts so full I cant explain/ Seeking faith and speaking words/I never thought I’d say.
Easy to despair when all you hear is fear and lies. Easy just to run and hide/Too frightened to begin/But if we dare to dare/Don’t wait for answers from the skies/Each of us can look inside/And hear this song within

But when you’re blinded by your pain/Cant see you way safe through the rain/Thought of a still resilient voice/Says love is very near/
But when you’re blinded by your faith /Can’t see your way clear through the rain/A small but still resilient voice/Says hope is very near

Mariah Carey’s song was the Original Sound Track for Prince of Egypt – a story of God’s miraculous intervention on behalf of an oppressed people group that suffered State Terror, Violence and economic exploitation.

For a people who were in bondage, it was a hopeless situation. In fact, it was a dead-end. There was no way of escape (from tyranny and toil). And against this background the song makes a lot of sense.

True, we have prayed many nights and we were filled with hope, even if we did not understand its suspended logic. True, some weren’t really sure if someone was every listening to our words (sometimes spoken in the silence of our hearts). They were told to believe (in God) and they believed God be there for them. But, when things looked really bleak, we all have desperately hoped for a miracle. The hopelessness of the situation makes us demand:

  • It’s got to be a miracle!
  • It’s got to be you (God)!
  • and it’s got to be NOW!

However, (sometimes) even the most fervent prayer could never moved the mountains. What could be the problem? If God is good, loving and powerful, he can make this possible. Our minds get clogged with questions: “Will he? , Won’t he?, Could he?, Would he?, Why won’t he?, Why can’t he? ”

In times like these, “Hope” flies away like the summer birds. Additional prayers seem illogical (why what happened to all the prayers we did till now?). And just when fear of failure grips us, and we are lost for words (or speaking words of doubt, negativity and defeat) comes God answer (in the form of a miracle) – at the right time. Sadly, we couldn’t see the miracle coming because we are blinded by pain.

Pain not only makes us blind – it makes us deaf too. When we are blinded with pain we are unable to see and hear the voice of love. God is near us. What we thanklessly forgot was this:

We were moving mountains long before we knew we could.

God listens to our prayers. He answers our prayers. (Sometimes, he answers even prayers of people who don’t love him or follow him). Set against the story of slavery and exploitation, the words of the song powerfully breathe hope, faith and love into anyone listening to it.

However, Leon’s alterations in the lyrics has twisted its deep meaning. And it blatantly promotes, skepticism against prayer and dependence on God. I think, the song betrays a skeptic’s understanding about prayer, God, and self-belief.

Leon’s approach to times of doubt, disappointment and defeat is simple:

Don’t wait for answers from the skies but rather look within.

Don’t despair when you are surrounded by lies (about the miracle) and fear (of failure). The answers lie within you. Go ahead. Dare. Grab the answers – the best one for you (and you know it already). But, its easier said than done.

It would take a genius to look into the heart overwhelmed with doubt, disappointment and defeat and find adequate answers. It is next to impossible. It is like searching for a black cat in a dark room which is not there.

Leon see all those who are waiting for God to move as being blinded by faith.

The shift (in faith) is clear. Leon tell us, ” Don’t be stupid. Don’t wait for miracles. you can do the same thing with your self belief. Obviously, the lyrics downplay prayer, God and faith if not deride all of them. Leon Jackson looks for a black cat in a dark room which is not there at all and tells that it could be found.

Hey! Leon Jackson, ” We can turn away from God. But… turn to What? and how would we know what we turn to would provide adequate answers (or miracles in this case)”.

I believe in God. God loves us. God listens to us. When we pray, we have God as private audience. He comes to help us even if we have already messed up. When we are broken and messed up, what we need is a miracle. I have personally experienced miracles and I know miracles are possible – when we believe and trust in God!

Guys! listen. With every word in a prayer, we already begin to move the mountain. We don’t have to lose faith in prayer. We don’t have to lose faith in God. We don’t have to doubt faith itself. Miracles do happen (all the time) when we trust God. When we believe, miracles are possible.

Discussion questions:

1) How do you understand “miracles”?

2) Has there been a miracle in your life? It would be great if you can share it with us.

3) How did you deal with doubts, fear and negative thoughts? How did you get around them?

4) How has your experience with God changed after the miracle?


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