“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” John 4:48
This weekend a friend of mine recommended I watch the movie “Miracles From Heaven.” I usually avoid the sappy feel-good stuff because I suspect Hollywood is trying to pull on my heart-strings to make cash…that said, this friend – a male – was so moved by some of the content I decided to watch it.
The story line got me thinking about why we humans eschew the possibility of miracles… I think the problem is anemic faith. For me, losing faith is not the issue – I do not doubt God is able to hear and respond to my prayers, it is that I don’t know why He would do that for me…
I guess all of us walk down that road once in a while – even the disciples implored Jesus to “increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5).
As humans, we are so finite in our thinking. It is our natural inclination to bring order to all things so that we can tidy it up and move on to the next thing….if “it” doesn’t fit into a definable box, then it surely “can’t be.” We do not want to believe in something that we cannot explain because if we do – then we cannot define it, understand it and more importantly – control it.
I think this is the problem we have with miracles. Even if you are a believer in God, some of us think the miracles of the Bible are analogies or legends. How can it be that God created the Earth by speaking it into existence? Could there really have been a man and woman created from dust and the rib of Adam? What about the Exodus plagues? Manna from heaven? Noah and the Ark? …and then you get into the New Testament where blind men saw, lame men walked, demons were conquered and people resurrected; especially the Son of God… Whew – really?
In Hebrews 11:1, we are told that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (emphasis mine). Hmm, things not seen. This got me to thinking of all the evidences of things not seen that have miraculously happened in my own life. Like a complete stranger showing up to protect me from being mugged (or worse) in an alley when I was in my 20’s…or God’s protection last year when an SUV flipped on the highway a mere 2 feet in front of my car (yet we were somehow spared)…or when a friend with melanoma was healed unexpectedly….
Yes, these seem to be big miracles, but truly, God is in the small stuff too. Miracles happen every day…. tomorrow morning I believe that I will wake up, but I have no assurance I will. I am taking my next breath right now- but I cannot see my brain making that decision or the machine that is my body doing it. The tide’s will rise and recede today because of the pull of gravity, yet I do not see gravity (nor can I control it), I can trust that it is there because I can see the result. How about that unexpected call you receive when you need it most? Or the money that “shows up” when you are literally on the last of your meager funds? The act of kindness of a stranger, the job that you got against all odds and on and on. Life itself is a miracle.
It’s just that like “Doubting Thomas” (John 20:24-29) we all want to “see” the miracle (cause and effect) before we will believe it could be. God knows this about us, which is why He warns – “Without faith, it is impossible to please God”. Well, duh.
Do you know why “faith” is so important in our relationship with God? It is because to have faith in something we cannot see, (pin down, tie up and label), it is an act of contrition, worship and submission and we are admitting that we do not have all the answers. Refusing to believe in God is really an act of pride. “Since I can’t understand it, since there is no ‘evidence’ that I will accept as scientific, it just can’t be…”
I digress here, but anyone know why Satan was tossed from heaven? Pride. Uh huh…just like us all. Ouch.
I find it interesting that the quote noted in the blog photo above is from Albert Einstein. A man who we all know is associated with mathematical equations meant to prove scientific theories…through defined processes and finite answers. Yet – he had the faith to live his life as a daily miracle. He didn’t need to “see” it – he knew it.
So today choose to look for your own miracle – have the faith to see it, feel it and in the end, thank God for it. It’s there, just waiting for you to believe. Amen and amen.
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29