Don’t we hope for a miracle. As the red sea was parted, and the water turned into wine in the Bible, we want to see this pandemic gone. As Jesus made the blind man see, the leper cleansed, and the cripple walk, we want all the mechanically ventilated severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients to adequately breathe on their own, even self-extubate, rise, and walk like nothing happened. (Wait, what?) We want a miracle. Well, especially if science cannot provide the means and the answer. Or even if science can.
Miracle is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”. Wouldn’t it be great to hear news of extraordinary healing beyond what science can explain? Wouldn’t it be extraordinary to have all those being tested come out negative of the infection? But would we attribute it to the Divine?
According to Wayne Grudem (author of Systematic Theology) “A miracle is a less common kind of God’s activity in which he arouses people’s awe and wonder and bears witness to himself.” How wonderful it is to see something amazing. And be recipients of it! Will we believe God (more) when we get it? Or shrug our shoulders in skepticism? Will we give credit where credit is due, or to which we were accustomed to?
Life itself is a miracle, nothing less than the intricate working of the Divine. How many times have we heard, in different ways, that “to wake up another day is a miracle.” Well, especially nowadays. Yet, yes, we want to experience the unusual, extraordinary, out-of-this world, “uncommon” Miracle. It can confirm what we believe. It can help others believe. C A N. But will it?
“You desire and do not have… You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”James 4:2-3
According to Grudem, miracles happen for five purposes in the New Testament. And that miracles are not for entertainment, or acquisition of power or fame. One purpose is to “authenticate the message of the gospel and give evidence that God is truly at work and so serve to advance the gospel.” The second purpose is “to bear witness to the fact that the kingdom of God has come and has begun to expand its beneficial results into people’s lives.”
“And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”Matthew 10:7-8
Third, miracles are to “help those who are in need”. Jesus, moved by compassion for the people, healed those who are sick. The fourth purpose is “to remove hindrances to people’s ministries” or good works. So they can continue serving. And last, but not the least, miracles are “to bring glory to God.”
What if we are already witnessing a miracle? I cannot help but think how the Israelites were delivered from the hand of Pharaoh. It was through a painful ordeal for both the Egyptians and the Israelites. Remember the ten plagues? What if the pandemic is a miracle for our deliverance? Deliverance from the desires of the world?
”For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world”1 John 2:16
N a h.
“A miracle is a less common kind of God’s activity in which he arouses people’s awe and wonder and bears witness to himself.” In our lives, we have probably witnessed some kind of miracle. Something so unusual and so heartfelt, too precise and perfect in timing that it cannot be attributed to chance alone; but to a higher being who specifically created it for you. Do you remember any?
Maybe in your miracle, God wants you to believe and preach the good news about Jesus. Maybe God wants you to give Him the authority over your life— He knows what is best for you after all. Or does He want you to continue doing good works and serve others? Not to earn His love or a place in heaven, but because you already have them, and are empowered to do so (by the Holy Spirit!). In your miracle, maybe God, the Only One True Living God, just wants you to acknowledge and thank Him and glorify His name among people.
In this pandemic, a miracle will really be something. The bigger, the better. Not just in our lives, but as a community. Or not just in the community but nationwide; or better yet, worldwide! Sudden or slow, mind-boggling or through natural means, just an end to this pandemic. Will we recognize it when it comes? Maybe individual hearts alone can discern once it happens. Or the whole world will be utterly dumbfounded. May we give God the credit. May it fulfill its purpose.
— Ninang-remembering-miracles thoughts
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered…”1 Chronicles 16:8-12
Cited Reference: Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem