I am conflicted. I believe in miracles because the Gospel is full of them. It is one of the foundations of my faith. And yet when I hear of a miracle, I become skeptical. Is there a more rational explanation? Could this just be a coincidence or the result of positive thinking? After all, it’s been years since I’ve seen water turned into wine, or someone raised from the dead. We just don’t see a lot of miracles today. Even in Jesus’ day, many eyewitnesses did not accept his miracles. (Matt. 13:53-58)
My son-in-law called about their refrigerator. “Bob,” he said. “The freezer section is below zero. The refrigerator is about 55 degrees. Any ideas?” Turn it off and let it sit overnight. No change. “Bob,” he said a few days later. “I said a prayer and turned it on. A couple hours later it was zero in the freezer section and 40 degrees in the refrigerator. It’s working.” Is that a miracle? We really didn’t do anything different to fix it. Certainly, there was something mechanical that changed to allow it to run properly. So, I’ll put this one in the undecided category.
Last week I was online with a friend. We connect through a support group every other Monday. About seven years ago, he was in a bad car accident where he had serious head trauma. Prior to this, he ran his own software company. He had many clients that used his proprietary software. He was a sharp businessman and a talented programmer. The accident left him mentally and physically impaired. Afterward, he could only speak haltingly, in short sentences. He was slow. He had impaired physical strength and very little energy. He had to rest a lot. Simple tasks became monumental and would often leave him physically and mentally exhausted. His business suffered and he was forced to sell it. His wife picked up the slack with work and family. He described their role as 80/20, where she was doing 80% of everything. Over the years, we noticed some glacially slight improvements, but nothing notable. He was still mentally slow and very low energy.
When I was online with him last week, this is what he told us.
“So, guys, I don’t think I told you what happened to me. For the past seven years, I’ve been praying to God for Him to help me accept my condition and where I am. A couple weeks ago, I went to the funeral of a friend. While there, I felt God telling me, ‘It’s okay to pray for healing.’ So I did. I asked God to heal me. It was so strange. I felt a tingling at the top of my head. It went down from there and moved through my body all the way to my toes. Almost immediately, it was as though cobwebs were cleared from my head. I didn’t feel tired. I felt energized. I felt healed. Years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD. Suddenly, I could feel it coming back. Ooo! An email. Ooo! A car. Ooo! Shiny! It was like putting on glasses for the first time. Oh, look. The pine trees have needles! And I had energy. Traveling used to exhaust me. Last week, we drove from Boise to Salt Lake. Traveling like this before, I would arrive exhausted and would sleep until noon the next day. This time I was up early and helping with the dishes. My son-in-law has only known me since my accident. Shocked at seeing me up, around and helping, he tried to take over and let me rest. It is as though I was back to where I was seven years ago, except I’m seven years older. It is just amazing.”
Of course, I was also shocked. Then happy for him. Then, I thought, what do I do with this? Was this truly a miracle from God? Or did his body just decid it was time to repair itself. I suppose that would be the rational answer. But the timing of it all! The fact that he asked, and the tingling feelings he had right after. Positive thinking? Maybe. And the fact that his mind and energy were restored right away. It just gets harder to explain away. And I know this guy firsthand. I know what he was like before and now what he is like now. It is hard to be skeptical.
The reality is that I am surrounded by miracles all the time. Sometimes I see them. Often, I don’t. If I look through my eyes of faith, I see them. For me, that is the key. Maybe I don’t see many like the dramatic healing of my friend, but they are there just the same.