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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Little Miracles

So, why are God's miracles so seldom of the "oh wow there's no way THAT could have happened other than a miracle!" variety?

I mean, I know that it's a miracle that I found my contact lens right in the center of a 12-inch square area I had just searched with my face two inches from it after I prayed, looked away, and then looked back. I had looked there. The thing is blue. Even a guy with only one contact in can't miss a blue circle two inches from the end of his nose, if he's desperately looking for it.

Recently I was looking at a Web site that postulates that because there are no thoroughly-documented cases of amputated limbs growing back after prayer, it is proven that God does not exist. That's just preposterous. Even before that, I was reading a book about prayer that talked about just such a thing... certain ailments seemingly not ever healed via prayer. The author of the book doesn't seem to have a satisfactory answer to the question of why not? I've heard that many more miracles from the "spectacular" side of the fence happen in non-Western countries... you hear about miraculous healings from missionaries and such. Some have theorized that it happens that way because faith is stronger in those places than in the West. Others have guessed that God heals them because adequate medical care is not available there; it is available here so God uses doctors to do the work. (Question: why would God force His people to get expensive, time-consuming medical procedures when God could solve the problem immediately, and for free?)

I've also heard it said that miracles sometimes don't happen because people don't have "enough faith" or the right kind of faith or whatever. Blaming it on the sick person, which seems a bit off to me as well.

I once read a book called When Heaven Invades Earth: A practical guide to a life of miracles by Bill Johnson. Pastor Johnson basically says that we don't see more miracles because (1) we don't expect them, and (2) we don't take the opportunity to do things that would create a situation where a miracle could occur (for instance, we don't pray for the sick, so they don't get healed).

So what's the answer? Man, if I knew, I would write a book and it would outsell Pastor Johnson's. I do think he is on to something; I do believe in miracles and I believe that God wants them to happen in the world every day, because signs are what leads the sinner to Christ. There must be a human element to it, too, although I also believe God can (and sometimes does) do whatever He wants to. I may not ever manage to understand God's workings in our world, but I can trust Him and know that His wisdom is much greater than my understanding could ever be!

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