Miracles

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Our LifeWay Sunday School books at First Baptist Vienna provide discussion questions. Sometimes they’re easy. At other times I leave the space allowed for notes completely blank. A lesson in December 2018 asked, “In what ways has God demonstrated to you that nothing is impossible with Him?” That’s a fair question for a long-time professing Christian, yet I was perplexed as how to respond. There are matters of heart I could share, such as my salvation experience, but I tried to think of tangible evidence, miracles that might even be convincing to a person who is skeptical of faith. 

I believe God is capable of miracles, and that He regularly uses His ability. I’ve been blessed beyond measure and give God the credit. But I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a physical manifestation of divine intervention. I believe I have, but I can’t say that with certainty. God has worked inconspicuously on many occasions in my life, and I believe some of those events are best described as miraculous. But I can’t deny there have been other plausible explanations. My experience has been of God being more like a rudder, unseen beneath the water while gently turning a ship.    

I’ve witnessed some unlikely healings, but medicine was also a part of the process. I don’t know whether God routinely participates in matters of health, or if He selectively dispenses His unmerited grace. I thank Him when things turn out well by my imperfect standards, and I don’t question His merciful love during the heartbreak of silence. If silence sometimes reflects a failure in our relationship, I know the failure is solely mine and not His.    

It’s hard for me to distinguish between God’s intentional will and His permissive will. Does God always directly intervene in situations that are successfully resolved? Or does He allow things to work themselves out in some natural order within this unfathomable universe He created? I’d love to talk to Job of the Old Testament about that, but hopefully no time soon. 

In trying to answer the question from our lesson, I couldn’t come up with any one concrete thing, so I began thinking about the miracles that are recorded in scripture.

I believe that God created man and everything around him. 

I believe that Adam and Eve were lovingly placed into a perfect garden, then fell for a deceitful promise of something better from one who knew he could not provide it.  

I believe Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and that somewhere beneath the salty waters of the Red Sea are the chariots of the Egyptian army.

I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered and died for my sins, and rose again on the third day.

The Bible mentions far too many miracles to fit into a column, and I believe every one of them. So maybe faith is the answer for me. Rather than analyzing evidence of God’s intervention, perhaps the best proof of His boundless power is the miracle of faith.

Noah witnessed tremendous miracles. He was there when the animals peacefully boarded the ark, when the flood waters covered the earth, and when the waters finally receded. But the most compelling part of that story to me is Noah’s obedient faith. He built an ark on dry ground, no doubt surrounded by laughing neighbors and skeptics within his own family.

It’s the flood that grabs the headlines, but Noah’s faith is also a front-page story. Noah was allowed to witness God’s exceptional power after God had witnessed Noah’s unwavering faith. When I’m tempted to wonder why miracles are not more pronounced in my life, perhaps I should first ask myself, “Am I willing to build an ark?” It’s a question with two simple answers, either a yes or a no. But the lukewarm stream in the channel between is too often the place that I go.           

God has demonstrated over eons of time that nothing is impossible for Him. It is the miracle of faith that allows me to believe that. Faith is the only proof of God’s unlimited power that I can claim with certainty. But I know with certainty that faith is the only proof I need. On Easter morning I will again be reminded that nothing is impossible with God. I hope that you will be reminded too.                

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