Be careful what you ask for. We’ve all heard that advice. It doesn’t stop us. We ask anyway. Some of us even ask for a miracle. I’ve never witnessed a dictionary definition of a miracle. But then again, I remember the disturbing statement the Cardiologist made after my open heart surgery. He told me, “It’s a miracle that you are alive. You had so many arteries that were blocked 100%, you should have fallen over and died a long time ago. No nurse or doctor would have been able to resuscitate you. You were death waiting to happen. Be thankful you went to see your doctor when you experienced mild chest discomfort!”
Well since he worded it like that, I guess…then I am a miracle by the grace of God. God is good, but do miracles advance our faith? We still get haunted by the wisdom from dead people, especially if their insights were correct. We keep digging up their words even though it frightens us. Take the late Oswald Chambers. From the 1935 classic My Utmost for His Highest he wrote, “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.” WHOA! Be careful what you ask for.
If you don’t like Chambers’ answer, go back in time to the Old and New testament eras. Some of those people were given front row seats to witnessing miracles in real time on many occasions. From Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey writes:
“With remarkable consistency, the Bible’s accounts show that miracles—dramatic, show stopping miracles like many of us still long for—simply do not foster deep faith. For proof, we need look no further than the Transfiguration, when Jesus’ face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling, “whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.” To the disciples’ astonishment, two long-dead giants of Jewish history—Moses and Elijah—appeared in a cloud with them. God spoke audibly. It was too much to take; the disciples fell down, terrified. Yet what effect did this stupendous event have on Jesus’ three closest friends, Peter, James, and John? Did it permanently silence their questions and fill them with faith? A few weeks later, when Jesus needed them the most, they all forsook him.”
WHOA AGAIN! But let’s be careful here. What parent would not want a miracle if their son or daughter had a terminal disease? God is not against miracles! Remember Jesus’ friend Lazarus? Jesus brought him back to life. But miracles don’t happen every day or even every year.
This is the thing about miracles. You cannot depend on them to sustain your faith. So how do you live in this crazy world that keeps crumbling all around us? One of my favorite Bible verses is only three words. A father distraught over his son’s sickness cried out to Jesus in a very raw manner, “HELP MY UNBELIEF!” (Mark 9:24b) Has your faith depleted? Tell God: Help my unbelief and He will sustain you.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”