Do you believe in miracles? I do. Of course, we should keep in mind that I'm one of the finest mental slow-draw artists in the world so it took a while for me to understand that God has, does and will perform miraculous feats. It suddenly dawned on me one day that those Bible stories I'd heard all my life were actually true and not a list of fairy tales. (I told you I was slow).
Truth be told, it was more a lack of correlation between mind and heart if I'm to be honest. Even prior to this revelation, I beleived in my heart that these events actually happened but my mind had them sorted, catalogued and filed in the "saturday morning cartoon" section of my brain.
However, the bottom line is this: A stuttering shepherd named Moses walked up and split the Red Sea wide open. The walls of Jericho did fall. A Minnie Mouse of a man named Gideon rose up to conquer the unconquerable and a skinny, red-headed kid named David...well, he did a lot of stuff.
Of course, there was that "creating the universe" thing which is a tall order any way you look at it but God pulled it off with nothing more than the sound of His voice. And then, there's this marvel of science called the human but we're not that special if you're looking at mere construction materials. We're common dust and a few dollars worth of chemicals but I think you'll have to agree that the workmanship far exceeded the materials. The list goes on.
Having finally understood that these miracles were actual historical event, the next question for my poor feeble brain was why? Was God showing off? Is there such a shortage of applause in heaven that He feels the need to dazzle the angelic hosts with slight of hand? Was God reverting to Karnac-ism?
Don't think so. Everything God does is with purpose. There is a reason and a lesson in every word or act, miraculous or not, and nothing God says or does can be properly defined without using the word "love". There is none greater. God has never said or done anything that wasn't for our own good even though there are those times when we get disciplined. We would be wise to remember that these times may not be fun but they are always good. God's goodness is paramount in every act He performs, in every word He says and by recognizing this goodness, I can therefore believe the obvious. I can spot the truth. I can easily understand that we didn't get here by accident. Something grand happened and it wasn't by human design or chance.
I then began to notice that when God performs His miracles, He seems to follow a pattern. First, He uses a situation that is impossible in human terms. Then, He decides that the impossible is too easy and does something to make it utterly impossible (I'm scratching my head now).
Why does He do that? I believe this is God's way of taking it out of our hands. It seems that the human critter will look upon a miracle of God and acknowledge it but, for some strange reason, will eventually slap himself on the back and try to take credit for it. (It's been said that Moses had been training his crack team of ninja water-dividers for some time). It's the nature of the critter. He's been like that since the beginning but especially since he became "intellectualized" and therefore smarter than God which is why God has to critter-proof things. By doing the totally impossible, there can be no question as to who orchestrated the feat.
The only thing left for the critter to do now is explain away the miracle or decide it never actually happened in the first place. It's the normal atheistic, media driven, monkey's uncle approach to creation that we're teaching our kids in school. You know. The darwinese, surely-simian, missing-link (planet of the who?) approach. It's those folks who told us God was dead without letting Him in on the news. It's the pagan-touting, politically correct, palm reading, monkey see-monkey do, psychic followers who believe all paths lead to God even if you kill 40 million babies on the way. It's those kill-an-infant, smooch-a-tree folks who hang onto their non-belief like a stuffed poodle on a cold night.
But the poodle offers no comfort at a funeral. There's no solace in knowing you'll never see that loved one again. The religion of non-belief can't offer hope when the doctor has bad news. It must be terrible to look on the other side of this life and see a black hole but there's nothing more the poodle can offer you. Sometimes, the human critter would rather self-destruct than rely on something other than what his own simple mind might create.
It's even happening in some churches. They claim to be Jesus following but teach some pretty unbiblical things. They tell us that these miracles didn't actually happen. They were just placed in Scripture to make a point. Just telling a story. They'll say Jesus was a special man but a man nonetheless. They'll tell us that the Bible is a mixture of truth and fiction. God is real but what He told us may not be.
So, what does that leave us with? God the shakespearean? God the screenwriter? How about God the huckster? God the liar? What goes next? The Ten Commandments? Do we scratch God's name off buildings, off money and off our hearts? Do we erase John 3:16? We'd have no more need for the virgin birth. And of course, there's that pesky resurrection thing. May as well chunk that while we're at it.
But, I have my own thoughts on the matter. My beliefs are pretty simplistic as a whole but that's the way I like 'em.
A. Either God is the One true Creator or the biggest huckster to ever come down the pike. If He didn't create us, how is He going to save us? If He didn't breathe life into Adam and Eve as the Bible says, we'd better get used to resting in that casket-sized compartment for eternity because there's no place else to go.
B. Jesus is either all He said He was or the liar of all liars. If He couldn't defeat death for Himself, how is He going to do it for us? If He wasn't resurrected as the Bible says, I guess we'd better get used to the dark.
C. Either the Bible is true or we'd better hug that poodle tight because that's as good as it's gonna get.
In my own simplistic opinion, I don't believe the Bible can be semi-holy, partially pure or half-sacred. I believe that every word is true and holy. I believe that every syllable, cover to cover, is the inspired word of God and Jesus is the true Son of God.
The bottom line is the cross. It was the greatest miracle of all because it is the vehicle through which we have hope past that final breath. For us, it's the anchor, the rock. It's never changed and it never will change. When Jesus rose, our future rose with Him. The roadblocks came down like stale bread under a locomotive and when he whipped satan, He gave us the chance to change ownership papers if we'll just do it.
Do you need a miracle? If you're living in pain, you need one. If you're getting regular, hefty shovel-fulls from that compost heap of human design, then you're a candidate.
Do you need a miracle? Then you need to see the Miracle Maker. It's a simple thing. The choir is ready. They're on key and ready to rock. Just waiting for you to give them the word.
Do you need a miracle? He'll give you one. No questions asked.