Not a lot of Christians talk about miracles.
We talk about miracles in the Bible, of course, but rarely about those in our own lives – if indeed there are any. I often hear believers say that the age of miracles has passed, that the wonders produced in the Old and New Testament were needed for that time but are now no longer. Or maybe, people speculate, it’s because we don’t have enough faith.
I think a little differently. I think we feel awkward.
Miracles are blatantly divine. Bring up a miracle and you are saying God did the impossible. Miracles exist right up there with concepts like the virgin birth and resurrection: the supernatural, holy, heaven-and-hell, cosmic I-believe-in-an-actual-God-who-can-do-anything stuff. And I think we know that talking about them in our secular culture makes us sound…well, like Paul sounded when Festus asked him if his great learning had driven him insane. When we want very much to be taken seriously as believers, or for people to take our God or our faith seriously, it’s tempting to downplay miracles or only mention them among the believing crowd.
Subconsciously, I think we worry that babbling about God doing something wonderful and impossible for us puts us in a place to not be taken seriously, or even to be criticized. But I do not want to be that person, because frankly, I have experienced miracles and occurrences that were clearly of God’s origin and intervention. Not mentioning them feels cowardly. Because they happened. I was there. And I want to be able to tell people: yes, God still works, even in those wondrous, impossible ways.
So without further ado, an account of miracles I have experienced both major and minor. Some of these sound impossible. But they happened. And I want to share them. I invite you to share yours.
- In college, the school I felt God wanted me to attend was financially out of reach. I was a few points short on my ACT of qualifying for their full academic scholarship. Brokenhearted, my mom and I prayed for God to intervene. A few days letter, we received a second letter, identical to the first – but the ACT score had been lowered just enough that mine would be eligible without any explanation as to why. I received the scholarship, attended the college, and decided on my future career and met my husband there.
- I once had a very vivid dream, prior to the defining horrible breakup of my life, that I was walking toward an old cottage. An old, very old woman, emerged. “I was told to tell you,” she said, “that you’re going to have a difficult time soon.” I woke up, unusually unnerved by the dream – and that night, my boyfriend of a year (whom I had assumed I’d marry) unceremoniously dumped me on my birthday. When it happened, because of the dream, I was shattered, and yet somehow not surprised.
- I once prayed for God to provide my husband with a document that no longer existed – literally, no one in his entire place of employment had the file – in a matter of hours. By the end of the day, the document had appeared on his drive, where it had not been previously when he looked several times.
- During a time of great longing to become closer to God, I once had a dream that a man cloaked in blue came to take me on a walk through the mountains. I couldn’t see his face. But we had a wonderful time, and I remember having great joy in the day and the experience. At the end of the walk, he gave me a little scroll and said that his name was in it. Ishi was what was written on the scroll; it took me a few days before I finally found the word, in a verse in Hosea (2:16).
- God spoke to me very clearly at the end of December last year that this would be a defining year in my Christian life: the year in which I would decide the Christian I was to be. I’ve written about this here; that statement has been proven out, albeit not as I expected.
- In my current job, I am organizing an event to which 30 people were committed. My boss decided that she wanted 90 people to commit. I sat in my car and cried, knowing the ask was impossible; I had asked every single person and organization in our city to participate. “God,” I said, “I am pretty sure you didn’t put me here to fail, but I can’t do this. If you want me to succeed, you have to provide 60 more people!” Over the past three weeks, I have watched in astonishment as He has. Ninety people exactly have committed, some even reneging on their initial refusals, others committing above and beyond what was required.
What I want you to know that while, yes, even our ability to live and breathe is a miracle, while everything about our relationship with God is inherently miraculous, God is also out here moving mountains and doing wild miraculous stuff above and beyond those things.Sit down some time and read the stories of persecuted Christians in other countries, and you’ll hear stories that would sit alongside anything in Acts. So don’t be afraid to ask. And don’t be afraid to share.
That thing in your life that happened–the one that made you say, in bewilderment, Did God really just do that? – is worth talking about. And when we as believers share those moments, we are continuing the great story of God’s work all through the ages. We encourage others. We are recording the nature of who God is – not just for those believers who will offer praise and gratitude alongside us, but before those for whom ‘miracle’ is an impossible thought indeed.