Introduction to Miracles
I have seen miracles in my lifetime. I’ve also asked for a miracle and I didn’t see the answer. In this brief account about miracles over the next few weeks, we will be studying miracles and we will also considered the definition of a miracle. I think that is important because the ultimate purpose is to be able to recognize and embrace miracles as they happen.
When I was young, My dad and I would talk about miracles. That’s not a surprise because we talked about everything in the Bible. I’ve always been a curious sort of person. As a child I would think of questions all the time. There were things I wanted to learn and if I couldn’t find the answer in the library, I would ask an adult.
However, I learned early on in the 1950’s asking a lot of random questions in school was not advisable. Eventually, I understood why, but when I was in kindergarten and 1st grade I had been told by my teachers that I “talk too much” and I need to be silent. Looking back, my teacher was probably referring to my secret conversations with my neighbors and not to my questions, but at the time I lumped them all together.
I felt like I was not allowed to ask questions in school.
Because of that, I saved all my questions for my dad. He was a willing listener and he would talk me through the answer. As it turned out, those conversations laid the groundwork for logic, argumentation, and debate. Today, I still ‘think’ in terms of ‘how to argue an issue’. Since I studied debate in high school, college, and Seminary, argumentation came to be something I love to do.
I was constantly presenting my dad with questions that led to a ‘logical’ progression of an argument.
Looking back, many of my questions centered around miracles. I’ve always been fascinated with miracles and many of my questions focused on:
Who can ask for a miracle
How miracles happen
What kind of miracles we can realistically ask for
Why God does miracles
When does God promise He will do a miracle
Why God doesn’t always DO a miracle when we ask
Why God sometimes does miracles even when we don’t ask for one
How to pray for a miracle
Those are just a few of the questions we will grapple with in this brief study.
Once, when I was in my twenties, I was frustrated about something I’d been praying about. I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t answer me. So, I asked my dad, “Why won’t God give me a miracle?”
He responded, “If you ask for a miracle, God will answer.”
I argued that I had been asking, but God was silent. No miracle happened.
My dad replied, “No, sis, you asked for a miracle and God did answer. You just missed His response.” Then we would talk about it and he would point out the miracle that God sent.
Gradually, I learned that my dad was right. Miracles still exist today. I just need to open my eyes to see them.
Today I consider it a miracle that my dad was patient and kind to teach me. He was a great listener.
For a time after my dad died, I suffered greatly because I didn’t have anywhere to go with my questions. But...gradually I learned that by sharpening my listening to God skills, I could ask God my questions and wait for an answer.
I grew in faith and knowledge.
Now, when I have questions about miracles, or anything else, I turn to God. I meditate. I sit in silence, and I wait for the answer. It isn’t always the answer I want. Often, God will say, “Not yet”.
I’ve learned that isn’t because God can’t make a decision. It’s because God gave us free will, and if the answer is dependent on what someone else decides, I have to wait for the result of their decision to fall into place.
Today, I still make arguments. As I study scripture, I look for ‘connections’. I ask God to help me find (or remember) scriptures that back-up other scriptures. I ask God to show me the way to His answers.
One day, about twenty years ago, I was in a Christian bookstore and I came across a plaque that blessed me immensely.
It still hangs on my wall today.
“Every day holds the possibility of a Miracle”.
That, my friends is a great reminder of what God is ‘about to do today’.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: See one miracle today.
As you go about your day, look for at least ONE miracle. Thank God for that miracle!
In God, Deb
Deborah Ireland Douglas Jones