I am just wrapping up Ecclesiastes in my brave ventur into the Old Testament.
It is thrilling to read. Amazing things happen every few pages.
Everyone – even those who haven’t cracked a Bible in years – know about Moses (all those plagues) and Joseph (dream interpretation) and Daniel (lion bait). We know Joshua marched around a fortified city and its walls fell, we know Gideon and his fleece signs.
Most of us who are Believers accept and expect miracles in the New Testament too, where Jesus does amazing things with bread and fish and demons and sickness. We get excited about walking on water. We even go as far as understanding that Paul got busted out of jail, and people who didn’t even have a basic education were suddenly fluent in dozens of languages.
Two thousand years ago, really neato stuff happened.
Problem is, so many think God has somehow retired. That He closed up the miracle shop and now He just does some healings and the occasional surprise check in the mail when you need it.
Do we forget why all those things are called promises?
It means if it was true for Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Jehosephat, Abraham, Ruth, Esther, Sarah, Joshua, Paul and the centurion with amazing faith – it is also true for every one of us.
So why don’t we see more of those kinds of things happening?
First of all – I think we do – but with science and technology, we may be slower to recognize them. Ask a missionary in a third world country if they have seen miracles, and I suspect many of them would say they have. We perform everyday magic with our advances, and we’re a little jaded. But it only takes one trip to the ER where a relative is mysteriously healed, or one narrow miss, and we question our science and our technology and remember Who is in control.
So if we are told over and over that our God is the same – then the difference must be us. And why is that?
We as a generation have a habit of putting our faith in other things. We take sick children to the doctor and have faith they will be cured. We trust Google to find our answers.
A few weeks ago, my four year old daughter had a sudden sharp stomach ache and a spiked fever of 103. We took her to the doctor who had no answers – all her tests showed up clear. The hospital couldn’t tell us anything either, even after the MRI. She looked fine, she tested fine and yet she was screaming with a scary fever. Our deacon showed up and annointed her with oil and instantly – literally – her fever left and she went tothe bathroom – after which she was fine.
Our custody hearing finished up with the opposing side’s lawyer struggling to complete a sentence and gulping for water every few words. We still don’t know the result, but I know my God was there and he was doing things in my favor.
And today – here in NYC – the earthquake. No one is hurt, and yet the earth shook. Do we have any doubts about Who is in charge?
I think what has changed is simply our faith. We don’t expect or look for miracles as much as our long ago ancestors. We aren’t as easily amazed, and we’re too quick to find a ‘rational’ explanation.
I’m still fine tuning my inner senses on this – but I have seen enough to know: my God hasn’t retired. He’s still very busy. And he is everywhere. So it is up to us – do we move in the mundane, and forget Him, or do we decide instead to move in the miraculous? And take Him at His Word?