Day OneFor the month of October, Anna Smit from joyofthespiritwithin.wordpress.com and I will be teaming to bring you stories of Miracles from around the world. A new story will be featured every day. Be blessed!
Webster's dictionary defines a miracle as "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." (Italics mine).
Why would we need divine intervention? God reveals Himself in different ways to different people, according to His Will and our need. Sometimes it could be so a person can experience God personally for the first time, or in a new and intimate way. A miracle's function might be to save someone from harm, or bring encouragement. It could be an emphatic affirmation to become alert to His leading. The ultimate objective of miracles seems to be about God desiring to communicate with us! It is a humbling thought.
When we think of miracles, often we think of monumental phenomenon of Biblical proportions, like God parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass safely on dry ground, or Jesus changing water into wine, and feeding 5000 with five loaves and two fish, or bringing people back from the dead. Some "experts" argue that miracles no longer happen in this modern age as they did in Bible times.
Still others hold a strict materialist worldview that excludes miracles, and God, altogether. In Eric Metaxas' book, Miracles, he opens his first chapter with this quote from The New Yorker "journalist" "Adam Gopnik:
"We know that . . .in the billions of years of the universe's existence, there is no evidence of a single miraculous inter[c]ession with the laws of nature ...We need not imagine that there's no Heaven; we know that there is none, and we will search for angels forever in vain."
Anyone who has been astounded as their life intersects the HOLY in an authoritative way, who know they have met GOD in a moment of profound change, are deeply saddened when people take the obligatory Divine out of the equation. After our spiritual experiences, we know better. Faith is no longer blind. Sometimes miracles are stunning and powerful, as Debbie wrote three years ago in this post Quantum Change, about a book entitled Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives.
When Debbie had her Quantum-Change, or "born again," experience almost seventeen years ago, she knew it was an interruption from God as He whispered to her soul, "Stay alert. Don't disregard what is coming. Never doubt what I can achieve." She is thankful for the powerful insistence. Otherwise, she would have been blindsided, and perhaps missed the biggest and best Gift of her life.
There are more subtle miracles too. The past nine months of Debbie’s grief journey of losing her twenty-one year old son, Roma, she has felt God so close, gifting her with reminders that all is still well in the BIG picture of Eternal Life. Often His Presence is palpable, and it floods Debbie with Joy and peace that passes human understanding, as He whispers: "Do you SEE how much I love you?"
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) English writer, philosopher, and lay theologian observed, simply, as I do, "I believe in miracles because of human testimonies," One need not look far to find stories of the miraculous, odd incidents that defy explanation, and leave us with a strong and lasting sensation of benevolence. I can't think of any examples of miracles bringing fear. Countless books have been written on the topic of miracles. Many people who have had an encounter with God and recognize it, rarely remain the same. A life changed to one of joy and peace, regardless of daily challenges, is proof of Divine Intervention. But the experience of the Divine is often hard to articulate in limited human words that fall short and insufficient. Also, it is sometimes difficult to tell others, fearing ridicule. It all sounds too crazy.
Debbie and Anna have never doubted miracles, perhaps because Debbie grew up with a single mother of three little ones and Anna with missionary parents who prayed expectantly for God's provision. And Debbie’s dear mother and Anna’s loving parents were always quick to thank God and give Him Glory when He provided for their needs. Debbie’s mother's and Anna’s parents’ life-long devotion to God and their testimony have pointed to a Loving God who showed up in astounding ways! As children, they both watched and listened with wide eyes of assurance and anticipation.
We’ve seen and read and heard too many testimonies over our lifetime to doubt the existence of miracles, but not until Debbie’s fourth decade did she become astutely aware of her first personal Encounter with the Holy God. Debbie is sure there were earlier ones, but God was finally waking her up to a life-shattering, authentic, unshakeable faith in a personal, loving and redemptive God. And since that first miracle more than sixteen years ago, she has been the recipient of others.
Anna’s first very personal experience of the miraculous came as her mother was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme and she palpably felt the peace of God descend, after more than twenty years of fleeing what she thought was an angry, punitive God. And later it came in inexplicable and very specific answers to prayers and in her astounding experience of God's Presence during a therapy session for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. People can deny miracles, and many do, but what we share, and what others seeking Truth share, we are confident, are true.
Why have we, as well as countless others, been blessed with miracles? We don't know the answer. But because He has shown up in our lives in extravagant ways, we know without a doubt that God exists and that He takes great pleasure in drawing near to and communicating with us.
Join us in the coming 30 days as we share stunning testimonies of God showing up in powerful and intimate ways to encourage, comfort, open up to belief and alter the course of people’s lives. Yes, God is still in the business of “miraculous intercession with the laws of nature”. We pray that as you read along with us that God will draw near to you too, revealing Himself in a very personal way through these powerful testimonies to His very real presence, love, kindness, compassion and power.
Please feel free to share your own stories in the comments each day. Or if you prefer, you can private message them to Anna or me. We can share them anonymously. We are His Witnesses. God has written our testimonies and He has given them power.