Someone asked me recently if I believe in miracles.
My immediate thought was ‘I’m a Christian, of course’, but the question made me think about what miracles I have experienced, and if we do see fewer miracles today, or if it is that people’s perception has changed. I was however reassured that even the disciples doubted: after Jesus rose from the dead “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” (Matthew 28:17).
Miracles are often described as a ‘supernatural’ event. However, C S Lewis in his book ‘Miracles’ points out that in fact the miracles we see in the Bible do not fundamentally challenge the laws of nature, but rather speed them up or ‘short cut’ some of the process. If we believe and accept that God created the world, then why is it hard to believe He is continually moulding it?
The majority of miracles that I pray for are for healing. The first ever prayer I prayed was when I was travelling on the other side of the world when my dad had to have a stent put in his heart. I prayed for him to survive, and he did. Not long later I became a Christian. Now people argue that this kind of healing is not a miracle, it’s medicine, science. However, C S Lewis points out that ‘all who are cured are cured by Him’, as medical intervention does not change the system but rather encourages the body to do what God has taught it to do - heal itself.
In this way, miracles are happening every day, yet very few are perceived as miracles. Can we still class these as miracles if no one thinks of them as miracles? I think so.The most difficult aspect of any discussion on miracles is when God does not answer our prayers, there is no miracle. Not everyone is healed; there is not always enough bread and fish to go to round. It is hard to know what to say in these situations. But I do believe that God does not want for these things to happen, we are His children and He hates to see us in pain.
But, we live in a fallen world. He will therefore, in some way, in His timing, make something good come from the bad. In his book ‘The Reason for God’ Timothy Keller writes ‘Jesus meant them [miracles] to be the restoration of the natural order... Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming’. So I will continue to pray for miracles, and hold on to the knowledge that I know God is good.